Sunday, August 30, 2009

(Pinoy) Punk's Not Dead: An iWitness video documentary (PinoyPunk.com)

http://pinoypunk.com GMA-7 iWitness Punk's Not Dead Trailer


GMA-7 iWitness Punk's Not Dead Part 1


GMA-7 iWitness Punk's Not Dead Part 2


GMA-7 iWitness Punk's Not Dead Part 3


GMA-7 iWitness Punk's Not Dead Part 4


GMA-7 iWitness Punk's Not Dead Part 5
http://pinoypunk.com

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Musikang mainstream, alternative, at underground



(Lumabas ito sa isang music fanzine noong unang bahagi ng 1996--huling taon ko sa kolehiyo. Matapos ang isang dekada, nagkaroon muli ng band explosion sa ‘Pinas at sa halip na “alternative” ay “indie” o “independent” naman ang naging uso at bukambibig ng industriya. Bukod sa mga bago--at lumang--mukha, may nabago ba sa content at form ng “orihinal” [kuno] na musikang Pilipino?)

Ano nga ba ang pagkakaiba nila sa isa’t isa? Kung ang pagbabatayan natin ay ang isang makabuluhang depinisyon ng tatlo, masasabi nating ang musikang mainstream ay ‘yung uri ng musikang dominante o naghahari sa ating lipunan at kultura ngayon. Ito ‘yung musikang pinapatugtog sa halos lahat ng istasyon ng radyo (mapa-AM man o FM); pinapalabas sa MTV at iba pang TV shows; at tuwi-tuwina’y nagiging laman ng mga songhits, magasin, dyaryo, at iba pa. Samakatwid, ito ‘yung musikang komersyal na tanggap sa pandinig ng pangkaraniwang tao o simpleng masa. Ito’y dahil na rin siguro sa pangkaraniwang paksa at mababaw na pananaw nito, katamtamang haba ng kanta, at himig na madaling sakyan o sabayan ng kahit sino. Maihahanay natin sa mainstream ang pop music (dahil nga popular ang dating nito), OPM, Billboard/Top 40, love songs, disco, hip hop, corporate o commercial rock, at marami pang iba. Ang musikang mainstream ay masasabi rin nating may pagka-reactionary o conservative dahil sa pinapanatili nito ang status quo o ang umiiral na sistema o kalagayan sa ating lipunan ngayon--kahit na nga ba hindi ito makatarungan sa lahat at pabor lamang sa iilang sektor. Kaya nga’t di nakapagtatakang ang content at form ng musikang mainstream ay maamo at sunud-sunuran lamang sa uso o di kaya’y sa dikta ng mga kapitalistang major record companies at ng status quo.

Samantala, ang musikang alternative naman ay ‘yung uri ng musikang maaaring pamalit o panghalili sa mainstream o sa umiiral na musika ngayon. Kaya nga alternative ang tawag dito kasi pwedeng mapagpilian o balingan ito ng isang mapanuring tagapakinig kapag sawa na siya o sukang-suka na sa nakabobobong tugtuging naririnig niya araw-araw sa radyo. Ang karaniwang katangian kasi ng musikang alternative ay ang pagkakaroon nito ng social at political content na karaniwan na’y humahamon at kumekwestyon sa status quo sa halip na magpatangay na lamang sa agos nito at sa bulok na sistema. Ito rin ang malaking dahilan kung bakit hindi ito maging commercial dahil sa itinuturing na radikal ang mga paksa at mensahe nito. Mas pinapahalagahan kasi ng mga alternative musicians (tulad ng Musicians For Peace) ang content kaysa form--ang makapagmulat ng tao kaysa kumita ng pera. Progressive, wika nga. Kaya nga maaaring parehong pormang love song ang isang kantang mainstream at ang isang kantang alternative, ngunit tiyak na mas malalim at mas may kabuluhan ang lyrics o content ng huli kaysa una. Bukod dito, gumagamit din ang ilang alternative musicians ng ethnic forms o mga katutubong instrumento at iba pang areglong experimental para lalong mas maging masining ang dating ng kanilang musika sa madla. At dahil sa mga katangiang ito, malawak ang sakop ng musikang alternative.

Maihahanay sa musikang alternatibo ang protest music, na pangkaraniwan na’y nasa pormang ethnic o folk song dahil na rin sa pananaw nito na ang rock ay isang kanluraning (Western) o dayuhang impluwensya; ang developmental music, na karaniwan na’y cause-oriented; ang revolutionary songs, na itinuturing ng iba na pang-komunista raw; ang alternative rock, na umunlad mula sa new wave o new music noon at ang siyang tawag sa non-commercial rock ngayon; ang experimental music, na gumagamit ng iba’t ibang artistic medium para maihatid ang tema at musika; at marami pang iba. Salungat sa mga mainstream musicians na hawak sa leeg ng major record labels, independent naman ang paglalabas ng mga alternative musicians ng kanilang mga albums (tulad ng mga do-it-youself musicians) na karaniwan na’y self-produced o di kaya’y galing sa tulong ng mga progresibong Non-Governmental Organizations at People’s Organizations. At ang isang halimbawa nga dito ay ang Backdoor Records [ni Gary Granada].

Noon, kapag sinabi mong alternative, ang pumapasok kaagad sa isip ay ‘yung hindi naririnig o pinapatugtog sa radyo. Ngayon, medyo malabo na ang depinisyong ito dahil na rin siguro sa ginagawang paggasgas ng istasyong LA105 sa salitang “alternative” sa ere. Kung noon ay alternative ang LA, ngayon ay hindi na--komersyal na rin ito. Tuloy, naging palasak ang paggamit ng salitang “alternative” at pati nga ang mga walang kwentang banda ngayon--na kung hindi tungkol sa toma, droga, at yosi ang kanta ay tungkol naman sa sex, libog, at iba pang kabastusan--ay natatakan na rin bilang “alternative”. Bukod dito, nakiuso na rin ang mga kapitalistang major record labels at sinakyan pa ang sinasabing “alternative scene”--na kung susuriing mabuti ay di naman talaga alternative kundi “rock explosion” lang naman--na dati’y di naman talaga nila pinapansin ngunit ngayong pumutok na ay biglang sinakyan na rin upang siyempre’y pagkakitaan, kaya nga’t heto’t kabi-kabila ang pagsulpot ng mga bandang “alternative rock” daw kuno na ang tanging pangarap lang naman ay mag-sellout, sumikat, at kumita ng pera. Ano ngayon ang alternative doon? E di wala! Sa ngayong mas lumabo pang lalo ang linyang naghihiwalay sa mainstream at alternative, masasabi ko lang na ang tunay na natitirang alternative sa panahong ito ay ang mga musikerong tulad nina Jess Santiago, Gary Granada [bago siya binayaran ng Barangay Ginebra], Susan Fernandez, The Jerks, Heber Bartolome, Joey Ayala, Pol Galang, Inang Laya, Grupong Pendong, Patatag, Buklod [Bukluran ng Mapagpalayang Musiko noon, hiwalay na ngayon--salamat kay Joma, at sa pagbili ng McDo sa “Kanlungan” ni Noel Cabangon na sinulat ni Rom], at lahat ng iba pang katulad nilang kumakanta hindi para kumita lamang ng pera kundi para magmulat din sa masa.

Hinggil naman sa musikang underground, alam na natin marahil na ito’y tungkol sa pagbasag at pagkawala sa nakagawian ng content at form ng musika. Deconstruction, wika nga sa post-istrukturalistang pananaw. Kaya nga’t radikal ang lyrics ng anarcho-punk [lolo ng crust], at ilang segundo lang ang grindcore [tiyuhin ng powerviolence], at brutal ang boses ng death, at napakabagal ng doom, at mala-Satanic ang black metal, at nakakabingi ang noise experimental, at nakakaulol ang industrial, etc., etc. Ito’y dahil na rin sa konseptong dapat palayain ang musika mula sa kontrol ng mga kapitalistang record companies, ng mapang-aping estado at tutang mass media, ng elitistang lipunan, ng mga moralistang institusyon tulad ng simbahan at eskwelahan, ng mapaniil na tradisyon at kultura, at ng lahat ng pwersang nais supilin ang kalayaan ng indibidwal na kumanta, magtanong, magrebelde, at magpahayag.

Lasang bebelgam



(Nailathala ito sa isang literary journal noong kalagitnaan ng 1993. Tulad ng karamihang tibak na kabataang estudyante, kulay pula ang utak ko at lumalangoy sa DHM--dialectical and historical materialism--ng mga panahong iyon. Sa pagdaloy ng panahon kasabay ng iba’t ibang substances, lumabnaw na’t kumupas rin--kulay kahel na ngayon, a la “Trainspotting” at “Clockwork Orange”! Diabolical and hysterical moronism.)

Bugtong-bugtong: Anong bagay ang matigas na matigas na kapag nadilaan at nalawayan at unti-unting naipasok sa bibig ay nanlalambot at naglalabas ng kanyang katas?

Sagot: Bebelgam*, este, bubblegum

Alam kong may sumagi sa utak ng iba sa inyo na isa pang sagot na sa letrang “b” rin nagsisimula (”b” na berde) pero sa pagkakataong ito, hindi ito iyon. At alam ko rin na may hindi sumagi sa isip niyo na isa pang sagot na sa titik “p” naman nagsisimula na maaaring ito iyon. Ang nagsisimula sa letrang “p” na di niyo naisip? Panitikan. O literatura (meron pa bang iba?). Oo, ‘yung nilakaran na mga salita’t letra ng inyong dalawang mata kanina bago kayo nakarating sa sanaysay na ito (o baka naman parang tipaklong na tumalon-talon ang mga mata niyo papunta rito?). Paano’t paano man, ito ‘yung atay, puso, apdo’t balun-balunan ng pahayagang ito--ang mga tula’t kuwento.

Iniisip niyo siguro kung ano naman ang koneksiyon ng panitikan sa bubblegum. Pero sabi nga nila, hindi natin dapat tingnan ang isang langgam na naglalakad sa lupa bilang nakahiwalay o nakatiwalag na langgam, bagkus ang relasyon at interkoneksiyon ng langgam sa lupang kanyang nilalakaran at sa iba pa niyang kasamahang langgam ang dapat nating masilayan. Maaaring sa una, ang mga relasyon at interkoneksiyon ay hindi kara-karaka makita ng inyong dalawang mata kahit na mag-microscope pa kayo, ngunit ito pa rin ang pinakaabante’t pinakakritikal na pagsusuri sa realidad--ang pagtingin sa relasyon at interkoneksiyon ng mga bagay-bagay, proseso, at penomena sa mundo. Ngayon, mabalik tayo sa usapin ng bubblegum at panitikan. Kung minsan, di ba’t parang bubblegum ang panitikan, at kadalasan nga’y lasa pa itong bubblegum? Magulo ba? Suriin natin at siyasatin.

Upang maging sistematiko, makatotohanan, at siyentipiko ang isang pagsusuri, dapat ito’y may konkretong materyal na basehan sa realidad, kaya’t bumili kayo muna ng tigsi-singkwenta sentimos na Bazooka Joe bubblegum sa tindahan bago natin simulang himay-himayin ang laman (content) at anyo (form) ng panitikan.

Hawak-hawak niyo na ba ang Bazooka Joe sa inyong kamay? Ngayon, tingnan natin ang pagkakahawig ng bubblegum sa panitikan. Tulad ng singkwenta sentimos na bubblegum, nabibili rin ang panitikan sa tindahan sa karaniwang bihis nitong pocketbook. Minsan nahihiram, minsan narerentahan. Parang betamax. Balatan niyo na ngayon ang Bazooka Joe. Di ba’t kulay pula, puti, at asul ang balat na mala-papel at mala-plastik? Parang cover ng isang pocketbook na obra maestra ng isang pintor. Kumukutikutitap, parang Hapee tutpeyst. Ang disenyo’y nakakaakit.

Ngayon, isubo niyo na ang mabango at matigas at may hiwa-hiwa at kulay pink na bubblegum. Matapos hubaran ng supot ng tindahan, ang nabiling pocketbook ay inaamoy-amoy natin at kung misan, pagdaka’y bubulatlatin na at sisimulang basahin ang unang pahina di ba? Para tayong humaharap sa hapag-kainan, para tayong kumakain ng teksto sa pagbabasa. Nilalasahan muna sa umpisa, nginunguya sa gitna, at sa huli’y nilululon. Nabubusog nga tayo pero ang tanong, masustansiya ba?

Sa pagsusuri, dapat tayong maging mapag-usisa. Mapagtanong. Mapagkuwestiyon. Gayon din sa pagkain, hindi tayo dapat subo na lang nang subo at lunok na lang nang lunok. Iba ang pagkain sa paglamon. Dapat muna nating lasahan at nguyain ang isang pagkain bago natin ito tuluyang lunukin upang kung sakali mang panis ang pagkain ay mailuwa natin ito hanggang maaga, dahil lubha yatang masakit sa tiyan kung sa huli’y nalunok na at bumagsak na sa sikmura’y isusuka pa. Kung mamalasin pa kayo, maggigiyera-patani iyan sa inyong bituka at pagkatapos ay mapipilitan kayong makipag-peace talks sa kubeta.

Gayon din sa pagbabasa ng isang kuwento o tula. Dapat ay may sinusunod tayong kalansay, este, balangkas o framework sa pagtanggap ng akda. Sa pagsusuri ng isang akda, dapat nating isaalang-alang ang limang batayang tanong sa kritikal na pag-aanalisa upang mas maintindihan at maunawaan natin ang panitikan. (1) Ano (what) ang nilalaman o ipinararating sa atin ng akda? (2) Paano (how) ito ipinararating? (3) Sino (who) ang nagpaparating? (4) Saan (where) at kailan (when) ito sumupling? At (5) Para kanino (for whom) ang akdang ito?1

Bago kayo bumili sa tindahan ay dapat alam niyo muna kung ano ang inyong bibilhin. At kung sakaling nakabili na kayo ay dapat niyo naman ngayon itong alamin. Sa kaso niyo, Bazooka Joe bubblegum ang pinabili ko sa inyo. Alam niyo dapat kung ano ito. Sa pagbabasa ng panitikan, dapat nating malaman kung ano ang anyo nito. Ito ba’y tula, nobela, sanaysay, o maikling kuwento? Ano ang mga ideyang ipinararating ng manunulat o makata? Ang damdaming ipinadadama? Ang paksain? Siyempre, masasagot ang katanungang ano sa pagbabasa niyo sa teksto. Ang pagbasa ay praktika tulad na lamang ng pagbili niyo sa tindahan ng Bazooka. Ang paglasa at pagnguya ay praktika upang mapatunayan niyo na Bazooka Joe nga ang nabili niyo at hindi butong-pakwan o bibingka. Praktika ang nagpapatibay sa teorya. Praktika muna bago teorya.

Nang balatan niyo at isubo ang Bazooka, alam niyo ba ang mga sangkap ng inyong isinubo? Kung hindi pa ay pulutin ang itinapong parihabang balat na pula, puti’t asul at basahin sa itaas o ibaba ng wrapper ang ingredients ng Bazooka. Sugar, corn syrup, gum base, softeners, critic, este, citric acid, etc., etc. Ngayon, alam niyo na siguro kung bakit iba ang kunat at lasa ng Chicklet sa Bazooka. Kung sa panitikan, paano ba ipinarating ng may-akda ang kanyang kuwento o tula? Dapat nating isa-isahin ang mga paraan, teknik, artipisyo, at pakanang ginamit ng manunulat upang maihatid sa atin ang kaisipan at maipadama sa atin ang damdamin ng kanyang obra. Suriin natin ang klase ng pananalitang kanyang ginamit. Ingles, Tagalog, Taglish, o Englog? Kolokyal ba (pangkaraniwan), pormal, dalisay, haluan, bulgar, o balbal (slang)? Ang indayog ng mga katagang pinagdugtong-dugtong. Malumay ba, malumi, malikot, mabilis, malutong, mabigat, o maragsa? Ang tono at ritmo ng mga pinagtagni-tagning pangungusap at parirala. Ang ayos o balangkas ng mga talinhagang pinagsanib-sanib upang makatinag ng isipan at makaantig ng damdamin. Ganito ang pagsusuri sa porma ng isang akda--parang klase sa human anatomy.

Bago niyo lamukusin at tuluyang itapon ang wrapper ng Bazooka ay basahin niyo muna kung sino ang gumawa. Manufactured in the Phil. by Storck Products Inc. under licensed by etc., etc., USA. Mala-kolonyal kumbaga. Ngayon, malaking tulong sa atin kung bukod sa alam natin ang pangalan ng awtor ay tiyak pa natin kung saang uri at lipi siya nagmula. Siya ba’y Pilipino o dayuhan? Babae, lalaki, o panggitna? Mahirap, mayaman, o katamtaman? Saang uri ba siya nabibilang? Burgis ba (malaking kapitalista, panginoong maylupa), petiburges (estudyante, propesyonal, maliit na mamumuhunan), proletaryo o manggagawa, magsasaka, mangingisda, lumpenproletaryo (istambay, tanggero, o isnatser sa kanto)? Anu-ano ang mga impluwensiyang relihiyoso, artistiko, at pilosopo sa kanyang kamalayan? Mahalaga ito upang malaman natin ang punto de bista ng kanyang teksto. Ang ideolohiya’t pilosopiya--ang mga paniniwalang sa di-lantad at di-malay na lebel ay naisangkap ng manunulat sa kanyang nilulutong obra. May taglay na kapangyarihan ang kuwentista o tulala, este, makata na suriin ang masalimuot na realidad sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga karanasan at gamitin ang mga ito sa paglikha ng kanyang mga kuwento o tula na sa tingin niya ay siyang representasyon ng realidad. Kung gayon, hindi lahat ng akda ay obhektibong repleksiyon ng katotohanan. Maraming klase ng salamin ngunit hindi lahat ay nagbibigay ng kahalintulad na anino ng realidad--marami ang may distorsiyon, marami ang may lamat, kundi man basag. Ngunit posible rin namang magkaroon ng di-paglalapat ang mga politikal na opinyon ng isang manunulat at ang kahulugan ng kanyang sinulat.2 Minsan, ang unang layunin ng may-akda ay hindi nasasalamin sa sining niyang nilikha.

Ang Bazooka Joe bubblegum na binili niyo noong isang taon at kinain niyo lang kahapon ay tiyak na mala-gulong ng Nissan Sentra ang kunat at paghamon. Marahil, namamanhid na ang inyong panga ngayon sa kangunguya ay wala pa ring katas na sumasayad sa inyong dila. O di kaya naman, matapos niyong nguyain at pagsawaan, ang bubblegum ay idinikit niyo na lang kanina kung saan; makasisiguro kaya kayong masasalat o makikita niyo uli ito sa kanyang pinagdikitan kung sakaling bukas makalawa’y inyo itong balikan? Magkakambal ang panahon at lunan. Magkakambal ang katanungang saan at kailan maging sa panitikan. Saan ba ginawa o nilimbag ang akda? Sa Pilipinas ba o ibang bansa? Ano ang mga lantad na kondisyon ng mga mamamayan sa lugar na iyon? Taghirap, tagyaman, o taglibog? Kailan nilikha ang akda? Noon ba, kahapon lamang, ngayon, o kanina? Ano ang mga pangyayari sa lipunan noong mga panahong iyon? Samakatuwid, ang posibilidad ng isang kuwento o tula ay limitado ng aktuwal na historikal at materyal (pang-ekonomiya) na kondisyon ng lipunan kung kailan at saan ito ginawa. Dahil nga nakakahon sa isang yugtong pangkasaysayan at isang espisipikong lipunan o kabihasnan (time and space) ang panitikan, ang kritikal na pagsusuri kung gayon ay ang paghusga sa isang akda hindi mula sa mga pamantayan ng kasalukuyan kundi mula sa posisyon nito sa partikular na yugtong pangkasaysayan na kinapapalooban nito.3 Ano ba ang nagawa ng akda sa panahon at lunan nito nang ito’y nilikha? Meron ba o wala?

Para kanino ba ang Bazooka Joe bubblegum? Para ba sa bagong silang, sa greyd wan, sa nagliligawan, sa tinutubuan ng ngipin, sa may postisong ngipin, sa naka-braces, o sa walang ngipin? Sa mga naunang batayang katanungan, itong huli ang pinakamahalaga at pinakamatimbang. Sino ba ang mambabasa ng nobela, kuwento, o tula? Sino ba ang inisip ng awtor nang pandayin niya sa papel ang kanyang akda? Sila bang mahihirap o mayayaman? Sila bang nakararami sa lipunan o iilan? Kabilang sa anong uri sa lipunan ang kanyang pinapanigan? Ang kanyang pinaglilingkuran? Elitista ba siya o makamasa? Ano ang nagawa ng kanyang akda sa ikabubuti ng mamamayang higit na nakararami? Muli, meron ba o wala?

Kung gayon, ang nararapat na maisulat na panitikan ay yaong sumasagot sa pangangailangan ng kasalukuyan at inihahasa sa pinakaprogresibong puwersa o tunguhin sa isang yugtong pangkasaysayan ng isang lahi o sangkatauhan.4 Sa halip na itampok ng may-akda ang kanyang mga tauhan sa punto ng kanilang kahinaan sa kasalukuyang kaayusan (status quo), ang pagpupumiglas nila’t pakikibaka upang maigpawan ang kanilang kahinaan sa loob ng umiiral na sistema ang dapat maging punto de bista ng isang humahawak ng pluma.

Hindi dahil ginawa para sa kagustuhan ng inyong laman ang Bazooka Joe bubblegum, ibig sabihin nito’y pinaglilingkuran na kayo ng may gawa nitong mga kapitalistang dayuhan. Ang bubblegum ay naghahatid nga ng ligaya sa inyong bibig, ngipin, at dila; ngunit masasabi niyo bang gayon din ang nagagawa nito sa inyong hungkag na sikmura? Lingid sa kaalaman ng karamihan, hangin ang tanging hatid sa kanilang tiyan sa pagngata nila ng bubblegum. Alin sa dalawang “u” ang dulot nito--utot o ulcer. Kabusugang parang balloon--puro hangin, walang sustansiya, walang laman. Ganyan din kadalasan ang mga babasahing palasak sa ating lipunan--mga mapanlinlang. Mapa-magasin, diyaryo, o libro. Nabubusog nga sa samu’t saring salita at letra ang inyong mga mata, napupuno nga ang puso niyo ng madadamdaming teksto, ngunit di niyo alam, para pala kayong buhay na manikang tinuturukan ng opyo (o shabu) upang huwag niyong maramdaman ang hapdi’t kirot na dulot ng sistemang kinapapalooban niyo, at unti-unti, sa di pagkilos, nadadapil ang inyong ulo. Minsan, parang bubblegum na pinapalobo ang inyong kamalayan na kapag napuno na’y unti-unti na lang tataas sa alapaap at doon, habang kapiling niyo ang mga ulap, ay gagawa kayo ng sarili’t tiwalag na realidad. Walang pinagkaiba sa mga gumuhong kastilyong buhangin at palasyong gawa sa hangin. Hiwalay sa lahat ng sistema sa lipunan. Walang relasyon, walang interkoneksiyon. Ito ang magiging realidad na sa tingin niyo’y ang tamang larawan ng mundo at ang tamang lugar para sa inyo. Walang kontradiksiyon, walang tunggalian, walang pagtatalo, walang pagbabago, wala--hindi gumagalaw, hindi umiikot, estatiko. Ito ang popular na eskapistang panitikan--parang bubblegum. Tumatakas sa katotohanan. Ayaw makisangkot; madalas nananaginip ng gising, puro naman bangungot.

At kapag namanhid na o napasma ang inyong panga at wala nang katas na makuha, ang Bazooka Joe bubblegum na makunat pa sa balat ng pulitiko, este, buwaya ay idudura niyo na sa lupa; nasayang lang ang oras na ginugol niyo sa walang kapararakang pagngata. At mula naman sa alapaap ay bigla na lang mapuputulan ng uten, este, pekpek, este, pakpak ang mambabasa--“The End” na pala ang nakasulat sa ibaba ng pahina, salamat sa may-akda--ilang segundo lang, babagsak na sa konkretong realidad at lalagapak ang mambabasa. Iniwan sa ere ng awtor. Pilay tiyak ang mambabasa kapag bumagsak, hindi pa rin kayang ipaliwanag ang ginagalawan niyang masalimuot na realidad. Parang batang nagpapalobo ng plastic balloon o Bazooka Joe, matapos magdangkaihi sa pag-ihip ay masasaputan pa ang mukha ng maskarang pink. Bulag ka na pala--nadikitan ng bubblegum ang talukap ang iyong dalawang mata.

*mula sa patalastas sa telebisyon ng tutpeyst na Pepsodent.

1Nicanor Tiongson, Ang Paghuli sa Adarna: Tungo sa Isang Pamantayang Pangkultura

2Friedrich Engels

3Vladimir Lenin

4Virgilio Almario, Ang Makata sa Panahon ng Makina

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gabi ni Samhain



(This is my short-story entry to a book/anthology* on Philippine transgressive fiction in 2006. The compilation remains unpublished ‘cuz the editors are dead broke and too stoned to go to the presses.)

*Call for Submissions: You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake, you are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. Revolutions are first born in the mind, move to the street, and then rise up like a conflagration to burn the whole catastrophe down. If you feel the same way, write with an agressive spirit and have kickass, mindfuck stories that burn like a firebrand, then we want you to give us that cool narrative. Edited by Norman Wilwayco (author of “Mondomanila”) and Karl De Mesa (author of “Damaged People: Tales of the Gothic-Punk”), “Wasak! Stories of Pinoy Transgression and Deliverance” tracks the same territory that writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Irvine Welsh, Douglas Coupland, and Chuck Palanhiuk have explored and mapped in all its brutality, dysfunction, and senseless beauty. This is an anthology that breaks the rules and finds personal salvation in burning the flag of mediocrity.



“To be rich today is merely to own the largest number of meaningless objects [toys not included ok.--Ed.]--to possess the greatest amounts of poverty.” (Donald Trump, rich wanker)

--Hwraak! Hwraak! Ptuuh! Oops, there goes my fucking supper.

--Ano Z- kaya pa? Sige ilabas mo lang ng maginhawahan ka. Mrs. V- runs her silky smooth hands up and down my spine. I feel like a big fucking dick that’s being masturbated and about to cum, but instead of spunk I spurt vomit.

--K-kaya pa po mam. K-ka- hwraak! There goes my pride and sobriety as well.

--S-sorry po mam. Linisin ko na lang. I turn to face her but my head is playing see-saw with my neck. I pull myself up and steady my carcass on the puke-covered car floor. --A-anong oras na po mam? --Mag-aalas dos na. Okey lang, pa-carwash ko na lang. She releases the Light button of her Tag Heuer watch and runs her candle-shaped fingers on my close-cropped hair. She makes them play on my face and I snatch her middle finger with my mouth. She tries to pull it out but I suck on it as if it were a viable source of nourishment. It goes in-out in-out, in-out in-out.

--Aoow... Z- tama na. Tama na pa. Now I know how her cunt feels when she’s finger-fucking it. I snap out of the sensation and give her dirty finger back. --N-naku mam uwi na po ko. --‘Kaw naman, para kang others. As if naman di pa tayo nagkakilanlan. --You mean, nagkakangkangan po mam. --Ganun na din ‘yun, pinaganda mo lang. She gives me a wink, licks her upper lip, and rubs my crotch.

8 pm: All Hallow’s Eve--Adam Is Dead!

Greenbelt is teeming with the dirty rotten filthy stinking rich when I entered the dimly lit Tavern bar. On the band stage hangs a tarpaulin streamer that reads: Welcome Guests! F- Corp., Inc. Octoberfest & Halloween Party. It might as well read: Die Yuppie Scum!

I survey the familiar faces on the dance floor and the range of overpriced drinks and expensive pulutans on the tables. I spot my stupid cubicle-mates in a corner, getting bombed out of their senses with San Mig Light. They catch my attention and the leader of the pack gestures at me. I bare my teeth and approach them cautiously.

--Kumusta mga kaibigan? Okey ba kayo riyan? I greeted the bastards to the tune of an old pinoy rock song.

--Super, pre. Take a seat. Join us, pre. B- initiates me into his circle of conyo friends. They flash lukewarm smiles as one of the cunts hands me an ice-cold bottle of their poison of choice. --Libre ‘to pre. One to sawa. Drink-all-you-can. Pa-morningan, R- assured me.

--Wala bang Red Horse o kaya bilog? Di ako tinatamaan dito e. I said from a position of strength, letting out a grin. --Sabaw sinaing, I thought, refusing the offer.

They exchange furtive looks as tension escalates. --Wala kaya dito nun. Try mo kaya sa Mini Stop. Baka kaya meron dun. G- dismissively sneered as he downed his nth bottle of beer. Bottoms up but still sober ey? See what I mean assface shit for brains! He quickly composes himself and calls a toast to my name as much as it is for his own personal safety. --Isa para kay Z-! Kampai!

--Sige tingnan ko na lang sa bar. I excuse myself and wish to fuck I brought along a shotgun.

I clock E-, the kikay from Accounting, leaning against the bar, looking bored. I say hi! to her with my eyebrows and flash a smile straight out of a toothpaste commercial. She gives me the cold shoulder and takes a shot of her tequila. I feel like a fucking doormat. I leave with two bottles of pale pilsen and two cans short of a six pack.

9 pm: Pop’s Not Dead! The Night the Music Died

1...and 2...and 3...and 4... Grooving to the show band’s mu-sick, my IQ tells me, is an exercise in futility. Move as I might, in no direction would the hardcore punk skinhead in me budge a muscle. My surroundings tell of a different story.

--Pucha, pre, astig ‘yung banda! Plakadong-plakado. Kuhang-kuha ang [name of famous sellout mainstream copycat band here]. B- gives a blood-curdling hoot with his fingers and sings along like a fucking cassette tape played at the wrong speed. --Rock on, men, rock on! R- flashes devil horns with his hands, headbangs, and all...to a fucking R&B pop song! Appropriateness isn’t exactly one of his strong points, stupidity is. Fucking bobollocks!

The mind-numbing sound from the amps and speakers lulls everyone to a head-swaying, finger-tapping, foot-stomping frenzy. I sit still, drink my booze, and pick my nose. I’m out of step with the world, who cares, I don’t give a fuck.

--Tangna, mas masarap pang tumae kesa makinig senyo!

As if to humiliate me further, the sick bastard on the mic cows the audience to --Put yo’ hands in the air and wave ‘em like ya just don’t care! I could’ve saved him all the trouble by blowing his head off. Of course, everyone follows suit. Fucking sheep!

Deriving no measure of satisfaction from the band’s unimpassioned set, I prayed for a blackout in Makati, let alone a technical screw-up on stage, anything to spare my ears from further bleeding--but to no avail. God must be bleeding deaf, for nothing snapped--save my nerves--not even one single guitar string.

Already my sanity is fraying at the ends, soon I will be enveloped by every fucking most requested Top 40 MTV Billboard FM radio payola tune out there, giving in, selling out would prove to be my ultimate fate--of this I am certain. I must escape.

From my ukay-ukay backpack, I bring out my Made-In-China discman that’s pretty beat-up owing to its rough life on the road, and plug in my pirated copy of Napalm Death’s “Scum” CD. I crank up the volume to crush kill thrash destroy mode and await the soundtrack to the end of the world. The background noise fades into obscurity as the four musicians of the apocalypse bludgeon my ears. Thank fuck for grindcore!

10 pm: God Save the Queer--The Art of Sucking Dick

It was a piece of piss, a total piece of piss, a bloody piece of piss--that’s what drinking beer is. My bladder’s close to bursting at the seams, thanks to free beer! Must fill myself to the brim, enjoy the shit while it lasts. I don’t get that shit from the slums where I come from, it’s either Emperaning or stainless, day in, day out. In my place, gin-bulag sells, but in this yuppie shithole, who’s buying? No wonder the fucking club owners are making a killing selling the piss-colored liquid.

The alcohol and stupid live mu-sick have fueled the pack’s conversation to a dumbfuck level with B- waxing philosophical. --Why do men have nipples when they (nipples, not men) serve no apparent useful purpose? R-, his accomplice in stupidity, drops his science. --It’s because we, men, are basically just women with dicks and as such have one of the most instantly recognizable prized possessions of the other species--nipples. Fucking Batman and Robin! My IQ drops a hundred points. I excuse myself and wish to fuck I brought along a grenade launcher.

The CR was deserted when I entered. I take a squirt in a cubicle and remember the pig-fattening pen I inhabit at my call center slave job. Same shit, different place. Ah, the requirements of efficiency. How am I affected by being moved around in prescribed paths, in office buildings, shopping malls, housing projects, mass transport systems? In buses, jeepneys, FX taxis, MRTs, escalators, pedestrian lanes? By living, working, pissing, shitting in two-dimensional grids, in prisons we have built for ourselves--a one-dimensional man in a three-dimensional world? How much freedom of movement do I really have? Freedom to move through space, to move as far as I want, in uncharted territories and unexplored directions? How am I affected by being immobilized rather than wandering, roaming freely and spontaneously? Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.

The long piss allowed me a quick drift to delirious sleep--my legs spread apart, one hand holding my cock, the other propped against the wall to maintain vertical position. From the corner of my eye I spy a figure moving steps behind me. I wake with a start, my head jerking like it’s going to snap off my neck, and feel a hand on my behind. Fucking sick bastard is groping my butt!

--PUTANGINA KA! BAKLA! I smacked him right in the face so hard my knuckles hurt. A tooth flies out of the cunt’s split mouth, his shaking hands trying to stem the flow of blood.

--Isang libo’t isang putangama mo, hayop ka! I let him have it in the balls with my combat shoes. He lands on the floor coldcocked and curls into a ball. I give him the boot without let-up.

--‘Wag po, ‘wag po! Sorry po, sorry na po! Di ko po sinasadya po! He pleads and sobs in his blood-soaked party shirt. Die, cocksucker, die! My face reddens and tingles from the rush of ultraviolence. I’ll beat the crap out of him, make him pay.

--Tama na pre! Tama na ‘yan! Some cunt pulls me off. B- grabs my arms, I brush his grip off. --Awat na pre! Awat na! R- tugs at my hands, I turn to face him, he backs off, I recognize the Dynamic Duo, Dumb and Dumber. I turn to cross-examine my handy work. --Buti nga sa ‘yo, tarantado! Magbiro ka na sa lasing, ‘wag lang sa gagong gising! I spit at the inarticulate mass of convulsing gay matter under my feet. G- needs plastic surgery for his face badly and a life-support machine for his body. I light a fag and exit the can. My job there is done.

11 pm: Alive in the Land of the Living Dead

A specter is haunting [name of fucked-up third-world developing cunt-ry here], the specter of sosyalism.

My head scans the smoke-filled bar with a blank expression on my face. To me, every bird in the place is a potential target. E-’s still hanging out where I left her, getting smashed this time with SMB. --Banlaw na, I observed. She arrests my gaze by dragging long on a Winston Lights, I imagine it was my cock.

--Ahem, may yosi ka pa E-? I said casually, the words evaporating from my dry mouth, and if I were to add --Tangna, tigang na tigang na ko! My mouth waters over her red well-manicured nails, I fancy my cock between her fingers.

--Nada. Alaws. Ubos na eh. She forced the syllables out of her tightened pink lips and smiled at me in a slightly condescending way. Her hand burrows its way through the contents of a maroon Lacoste imitation bag. I spy a pack of cigarettes and a pack of condoms amid all the fucking cosmetics. The lying bitch! With an air of haughtiness she pulls out her Nokia [name of latest expensive phone model here] and dials a number. A photo of a bald man old enough to be her daddy flashes on the screen. Some guys have all the fuck!

I guess I want to be famous in a certain degree, to be seen, to be in the public eye. For I’ve come to trust what is seen more than what is actually lived, where images seem more real to me than experiences. To know that I really exist, that I somewhat matter, I have to see ghosts of myself frozen, preserved in pictures, wallpapers, camerafones. How much of my life comes at me through a screen? A mobile phone screen? A computer screen? A television screen? An automobile screen? All four screens combined? What am I being screened from? If my life were made into a movie, would I watch it? What’s the point of watching anything if nobody’s doing? What’s the point of doing anything if nobody’s watching? Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.

In the din of the crowd, E- flirts loudly and tries hard to be noticed--the way girls do before getting screwed. She chatted up in between retouching her makeup and brushing her brown cellophaned rebonded hot-oiled hair. Just being near her reminds me of how long it has been since I’ve shagged a real woman. All the girls I’ve fucked in the past months--and they were many if truth be told--either appeared in Playboy, FHM, Remate or Bulgar, or in some cheesy sex scandal video--kung sa’n mukhang katulong ‘yung kinakantot! That’s all I can do, fantasize. Wankers of the world, unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.

She chucks the cellphone in her bag, show’s over, end of fucking story. She looks pretty smart, or at least her fake designer-clothes, clearance-sale accessories, and bargain-bin signature-shoes packaging does, but it misses by miles the socialite sophistication she’s aiming at. --Chipipay. Pokpok, the upper class women derisively snort from their pedestals. It all boils down to the fashion show of life where pointing out other people’s problems makes one’s own seem far away and the moral cunts are above you. She can’t fall any further from burgis grace and exits the room, leaving a trail of A. Moi Belyas perfume and visible panty lines behind.

Then it hits me, I scream in silence. Feeling like a social tool without a use, I chase after her, sheer desperation propelling my unsteady feet toward the closing door. --E-, hatid na... but she’s gone --kita sa labas. I realize the depressing haste with which the sexually successful separate themselves from the flock of failures lest we infect their kind. Talk about chlorinating the gene pool.

In the joy of the faces around me, I sip my beer alone. I fight back the urge to cry. Loser! Just like tonight’s drink, the pit of misery is a bottomless one, it loves company, and I’m descending there fast. I’m looking into the abyss, and the abyss is gazing back at me.

The amount of alcohol consumed and the painful passage of time conspired to muddle my already melancholic mind. With an hour left to go before party’s over, I struggle to compose myself. --Bangenge na naman. Too stoned to sleep, too drunk to stay awake, I try to focus, set my sights on something, concentrate, zero in ...4 ...3 ...2 ...1 ...bingo!

I clock two chickababes from Marketing, futuristic K- and balbonic P-, invading my turf. My spirits soared anew as they drew near, I greeted them with my raised eyebrows and poster boy smile. As usual, I’m the Invisible Man, they look right through me and plant their butts on the other end of the bar. A cold breeze runs through my body, I sigh about the way we are all alone in the end. Makes me wonder if success with the other species is based on one’s ability to raise the one eyebrow. In my case, both my brows keep rising at the same time, so there goes my career on being a chick magnet. Of course, who needs eyebrows when you’re bloody rich.

With the receptive ear of a showbiz reporter, I listen in on the sexy-cutives’ conversation. The fucking dolls try to affect a tonsil-swallowing colegiala accent and put on an air of crass, este, class as they talk ceaselessly about their shitload of cash, cars, condos, credit cards, checking accounts, candlelight dinners, career opportunities, cosmetic surgeries, calorie-free diets, catwalk fashion shows straight out of the pages of Cosmopolitan, making sure their crap is heard for miles despite the chorus of disapproval from every low-life in the club. What a crock of despicable shit!

It’s all about fucking image isn’t it? For all I care, these cunts are wallowing in the same deep shit as I am and all up to their fucking necks in Citibank debt yet they strut around as if they’re on six-figure salary a month and eating caviar for breakfast. --Mga punyeta kayo! Kung di ko pa alam, nag-uulam din kayo ng tuyo at galunggong! Violent Playground from my high school days is playing in my head:

Another day of pretending, blending in / Going around town in your chameleon skin / You go out to town only with friends you need / You don’t really like them but on them you feed / There’s a tupperware party for people like you / There’s plastic food and plastic drinks and plastic girls galore...

From those blurred and fragmentary moments I may infer much, but prove little. Life doesn’t get any easier under capitalism does it? Cutthroat competition. Consumer culture. You sell your soul to the highest bidder to buy into the symbols and images that big business and society are feeding you. You pay to eat, pay to sleep, pay to keep warm, pay to make friends, pay to make love, pay to have fun, pay to go to school, pay to get a job, pay for the most useless of products, pay for a space just to exist. Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.

12 am: Oedipus Rex--The Jesus and Mary Chain

The air in the bar has ceased to be breathable. It has become so damn polluted you could actually see it. Summoning all of the powers possessed by my lungs, I set out to Greenbelt park below. It’s an okay park, quiet, dead central like, and probably the only place in Makati where they don’t charge you money. In the unearthly stillness and palpable darkness of midnight, I reclaim a concrete bench as my bed. I’m on my nth nicotine fix when it dawns on me that I’m way past the range of prying eyes. I chuck the yosi and reach into the secret pocket of my shattered maong for the teabag of chongki.

I roll a joint, light it up, toke up, and watch it burn, baby, burn. Inhale-exhale, inhale-exhale. When it came, I savored the hit, felt the earth moved, and heard the sound of one hand wanking, err, clapping. --Tangna, lakas amats! Tirang pasok! Basag. Wasak. Sabog. Solb.

Vainly I struggled with my drowsiness, my brain--sore and dazed with fatigue, my head--heavy and reeling from intoxication, drooped to my chest, and when next I looked up it was in a dream. I have often wondered if the less material life is my truer self, and that my existench in the waking world is merely virtual reality. For is it not that “life is a dream on the way to death?” [The Crow: City of Angels]

I shut down my brain, the joint burns away in my hand.

DRUNKANDISORDERLYDILEMMAS#666:whatifeveryonedecidedrightand wrongforthemselveswithoutanyregardforconventionalmorality whatifeveryonedidwhatevertheywantedtowithecouragetofaceany consequenceswhatifeveryonefearedlovelesslifelessmonotony morethantheyfeartakingrisksmorethantheyfearbeinghungryor coldorindangerwhatifeveryonesetdowntheiresponsibilitiesand commonsenseandaredtopursuetheirwildestdreamstosethestakes highandliveachdayasifitwerethelastlivelikethereisno tomorrowhatabetterplacetheworldwouldbe.

A hand dabs a hanky on my face, the scent of Christian Dior hangs artificially in the cold nocturnal air, competing with the natural high of Mary Juana. 12:05--remain in coma until 12:35, wallow about, racked with pain and remorse until 12:45, enter spiritual stage of hangover, when pain has gone but material reality is not yet working, by 12:55 begin to feel the miracle of consciousness.

All sleepiness left me as my eyes beheld an apparition in black, a gothic angel of mercy--black mini skirt, black stockings, black high heels, black lipstick, black framed glasses, pale white face. Blessed Fucking Virgin Mary!

--M-Ma’am V- y-you shouldn’t have. I force a smile as I stagger on my feet.

--You sure, iho? I saw you pass out from the bar’s veranda, I thought you were dead so... It’s alright, she said, ruffling her dark long hair.

--I-I’m okay now. B-Better than okay, ma’am. I-I can manag-- she puts a finger on my lips, sealing it before I can finish, then guides my head into her breast like a mother to a son. I nosedive into her cleavage and try to cop a feel.

--Kelangang maka-score!

--Z- anak, please, not in here. She pushes me away. The bitch deserves a fucking Famas award!

It was a scene right out of the Passion of Jesus H. Christ as Mrs. V- dragged my carcass along Dela Rosa St. at a slow panting funeral pace. I feel like sheep to the fucking slaughter. After what seemed like an eternity, we reached Fucking, este, Parking Lot 1. She got out her remote, opened the door of her Honda [name of latest expensive car model here], chucked me in the back seat, turned on the aircon, tuned in to some jazzy radio station, took off her clothes, unbuttoned my shirt, and unzipped my jeans. I felt a sense of power, a sense of attractiveness, a sense of affirmation I’ve never experienced before.

1 am: A Crash Course in Adultery (and Other Half Revolutions)

As she undressed, the question of her fuckability crossed my mind. I’m free+thirty-something, she’s got grandkids+shrivelled. Despite her sagging breasts, I managed to get a hard-on. I’m stoked, abstinence and alcohol fanning the flames--no, make that embers--of my long neglected libido to such an extent that I’ll fuck anything with a hole on it. She starts off by swallowing my cock. --God, she gives one hell of a blow job, there’s no doubt about it! I guess there’s more to her job description as a Q fucking A Manager. Then she goes on top of me. --God, she must’ve weighed a ton! and lowers herself into my knob, enclosing it completely, penetrating her deeper.

--Let’s. Volt. In! The Voltes V theme song from my grade school years plays repeatedly in my head. For a bitch way past her menopause, she’s well lubricated. She goes up-down up-down, up-down up-down, my tarugo holding firm...but not for long. Months of wanking have taken its toll on my sperm count and muscle control, I thought I was going to come straight away, way ahead of her. So I wait, E-J-A bringing myself off the boil...and wait, C-U-L putting my mind off the climax...and wait some more, A-T-E surrendering to sleep. How am I affected by waiting? Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting to urinate, waiting to punch the clock, waiting to get served at the fastfuckingfood counter, waiting at the jeepney terminal, waiting at the ATM for my own fucking salary--learning to punish and ignore my spontaneous urges, by holding back my desires? By sexual repression, by the delay or denial of pleasure, starting in childhood, along with the suppression of everything in me that reveals my wild nature, my membership in the animal kingdom? How am I affected by being scheduled, by standardized time designed solely to synchronize my movements with other automatons of the corporate world? Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.

When I came to, my erection has started to subside, Mrs. V- has dismounted me and wipes with Kleenex the strands of thick sticky egg white-like fluid trickling down the insides of her thighs. She sure rode herself into a climax, our combined cum shooting through the car roof! The explosions of Mt. Pinatubo and Mayon volcano combined would pale in comparison. --Nakailang putok kaya siya? Ako kaya?

The smell of spunk and sweat filled the car, overpowering the air freshener, fogging the tinted windows. For once it is free from the stink of deodorant, perfume, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, lotion, shampoo, hair conditioner, and soap. I felt unique, like a dirty animal, body odor and all. A creature who is openly sexual and fucks on the roof of buildings, who eats things off the ground--not out of plastic wrappers or styrofoam, who doesn’t get its hair and nails done, who doesn’t wear suits or ties, who doesn’t need logos/brands/labels to stand out from the herd, who doesn’t need I.D. cards to feel like an individual.

--Ano Z- isang round pa? There’s nothing in her eyes but need, screaming infidelities, and memories of a once happy marriage.

--T-Teka muna po mam, mahina ang kalaban. Nakikipaghabulan pa po ko sa ‘king hininga, I reply, breathing heavily like a hunted animal.

--Ganun ba? Bueno, eto anak, baka sakaling makatulong sa iyo. She unlatches the car’s glove compartment, gets a compact mirror, opens its clam-shell casing, and draws a small packet of tin-foil. Unwrapping it reveals white tiny tawas-like crystals. Yuppie shit. Fucking garbage. Poor Brown man’s cocaine. Bato.

--N-Naku mam, kayo na lang po. Hanggang ganja lang po ‘ko, di po ‘ko nagsha-shabu. Beggars cannot be choosers, but in this case --God made grass, Man made crack, who do I trust?

--Ganun ba? Bueno, kung ayaw mo talaga ng ubas, iho, sosolohin ko na lang ito. Mrs. V- cooks up a hit with Zippo lighter in one hand and Panda ballpen in the other. As soon as the gear starts melting and the miracles of chemistry start doing wonders--turning solid into gas, she snorts the fumes up her nose, frying her brain--or what’s left of it. As the last trace of white smoke leaves the blackened foil, she pulls her head back, shuts her eyes, opens her mouth, and gives out a groan of orgasmic proportions. --This beats sucking any fucking cock in the world! --Nagtampo tuloy si manoy. I try to feel my limp dick through my jeans pockets to see if it’s still there.

As if on automatic pilot, she chucks the works out of the window, composes herself, and checks her reflection on the compact mirror--wrinkles, lines in the forehead, folds, pouches in cheeks, bags, dark circles around the eyes, leathery skin, dyed hair, and all--like when you know you’re not going to win in the Lotto, but you still check your numbers just the same.

                                 t na ang aking tama--g
--Kelangang b            a                               i
                  u             y                              s
                  m            k                         hwraak!
                  a             a                              w
                  b            m                              n
                  a ’pagkat u                              a.

2 am: V for Vendetta, A for Anarchy

[email zernando@yahoo.com for the ending.--Ed.]

Hippie is a “punker”: punk rocker. punk slacker. punk writer. punk wanker. punk whatever.

On the back of a truck: A punk rock sumvac (PinoyPunk.com)

http://pinoypunk.com

(I sent this to the 2007 “If My Life Were a Book” essay-writing contest of the Philippine Star, and I don’t think they’re going to publish this...for obvious reasons.)

Parental advisory: This article contains four-letter words not suitable for adults (but there isn’t anything in here that you haven’t heard/used before).

They say that if a writer pours his heart and soul into his work, that work lives--or gets turned into a movie. If my life were a book I wish its pages would burn with the passion of On the Road--a mid-50’s paperback that hardly anyone reads. But it appears that a certain Jack Kerouac has done his job rather well. For life does imitate art--even fiction of the transgressive kind. And these are two days from one of those lives:

May 19, Monday. Work is a four-letter word and we were all so pretty vacant. I was on forced leave from my Makati slave job after my five-month contract expired. Louie was on summer vacation from his sixth year in art school. Philip had just gotten out of college and, like all of my friends, was jobless as fuck. Slowly being killed by the heat wave in Bulacan and the hopeless boredom of our modern existench, we thought of going up north: Baguio. Only problem was, we were all dead broke.

Not to worry, with a combined total of 200 pesos in our pockets, Louie and I grabbed our good old backpacks. Two shirts, two shorts, a pair of underwear, a sweater, a sleeping bag, and a lot of courage are all we’ll need for a week. From Malolos crossing, we took a jeepney to Tabang tollgate (several rides actually, ‘cuz we just hitchhiked). Then we were off on a van carrying drums of chemicals to Manila. We arrived at SM City in time for supper and met up with Philip who came all the way from down south--Cavite.

Before hunting/gathering food at the basement, we planted our butts on the mall’s benches and watched all the credit card-operated automatons, este, people around us. The masa window-shopping; coños and phonies speaking in colegiala tongues; the burgis and jologs displaying their signature clotheshoes, expensive cameraphones, and all the scum of consumer culture. Ah, the fashion show of life where you are no more than the logo on your shirt, the model of your celfone, or the contents of your shopping bag. At the food court, I had quite a fill of food scraps and leftovers from plates half-full and soda bottles half-empty. Imagine all the waste our fastfood mentality churns out every single day, while many of our kababayans subsist on instant mami noodles--if they’re lucky. By the way, Louie and Philip are vegetarians while I’m “freegan”--that is, I’ll eat anything as long as I don’t have to buy it. Lured by posters saying “Sale!” I took the up-escalator to the department store and indulged in a shopping spree. Socks, a towel, a bonnet--I got ‘em all on 100% discount. Thanks to the overworked sales ladies and underpaid security guards who, like me, are just cogs in the machine.

It was closing time when the three of us jumped on a bus going to Balintawak. From Cloverleaf interchange, we walked to the Camachile tollgate under the cover of darkness, and waited in the shadows. Our prey came in the form of a ten-wheeler truck with “Vegetable Dealer” scrawled on its sides. As the driver stopped to pay the toll, we pounced on it and scaled its eight-foot high body. Fat-assed Louie had trouble getting on and was left dangling like a pile of shit just as the truck was speeding towards the North Luzon Expressway. A bunch of shocked tollway cops tried to give chase on foot but thought better as the herd of speeding vehicles overran them. Hanging on to dear life, Philip and I hauled poor Louie’s carcass onboard.

With hands for pillows and frayed ropes for beds, we lay on our backs, faced the night sky, and told our stories as if around a campfire. It’s the sensation of sucking the marrow out of life, of the wind rustling your hair, of bathing in the light of the moon, of counting the stars, of sleeping in a blanket of clouds. At two in the morning, the driver, who hadn’t the slightest idea of his extra cargo, made a stopover at Hacienda Luisita. We dropped ourselves off and hopped on another truck, much to his dismay. Surveying my surroundings, I couldn’t help but wonder how much land a person really needs.

May 20, Tuesday. The red skyline greeted us at Rosario Junction, just at the foot of Baguio. From there, we got a ride to Pogo, then to Marcos Highway. A great thing about riding on the back of trucks is that I get to interact with the scenery and all. It’s an experience alien to commuters who are trapped inside the comfort of their airconditioned cars. For one, I get a certain kind of high smelling the air and the grass and the soil and, somehow, the cow dung. Can you put a value on a beautiful day?

Touchdown. First on our list was the City of Pines’ downtown ukay-ukays or wagwagans. I always thought that changing our consumption patterns, buying second-hand stuff, or recycling saves a lot of things: labor, raw materials, energy, and money. Not to mention it minimizes the junk we dump on earth. For lunch, I asked this girl at the carinderia if she could spare me some tutong. She obliged with a bagful, plus tirang ulam. Ah, the kindness of total strangers. There is hope for humanity. As for my two companions whose food group is different from mine, they had to find other means to secure their nourishment. Asking vegetable/fruit vendors for rejects, my friends had proven that if you use fictitious pet rabbits as an excuse, you’ll get free food. For some strange reason, telling people you’ll eat their spoils turns them off.

As the last light drained and the cold mists rolled into the empty streets, we found ourselves climbing one of the tribal Ifugao huts on display at the Botanical Garden. Amidst the wet cobblestones, eerie animal sounds, creepy plants, and thick fog, we rested like modern primitives and slept the sleep of the just. For no matter what glamor magazines and reality TV shows profess, there is a difference between life and survival. There is more to being alive than just having a heartbeat and brain activity.

So, if you’re life were made into a book, would you read it? Is reading things as exciting as doing them? Could danger be joyous? How much of your life comes at you through a book, vicariously?

Hippie is a punker masquerading as a writer. He is not a president of anything and spends his time daydreaming. You may reach him at myspace.com/abcdefghippie http://pinoypunk.com

Coexistench



(This was published in a straightedge fanzine back in 2005 I think.)

I was hanging around a bookstore when I got another text message from Alex. He was asking me if I could send my article tomorrow ‘cuz he would be putting out his zine, Why Sit Down? , by next week. I replied: no problem, it’s nearly finished, and gave him a title for my piece. So what have I written? God, not a fucking word!

It was 7 p.m., Friday and I couldn’t think of anything. I got mental block and my mind was blank. My work early in the day had eaten up whatever was left of my brain. I visited the sci-fi section and browsed some books. I came across The Sandman Book of Dreams. I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman and his Sandman comics, and the book is some sort of tribute to him--a collection of short stories by various writers. I read the preface and these words caught my attention:

“How do gods die? And when they do, what becomes of them then? You might as well ask, how do gods get born? All three questions are, really the same question. And they all have a common assumption: that humankind can no more live without gods than you can kill yourself by holding your breath.

“(Of course, you may be the kind of arrant rationalist who huffs that modern man has finally freed himself from ancient enslavement to superstition, fantasy, and awe. If so, return this book immediately to its place of purchase for a refund; and, by the by, don’t bother trying to read Shakespeare, Homer, Faulkner, or, for that matter Dr. Seuss.)

“We need gods--Thor or Zeus or Krishna or Jesus or, well, God--not so much to worship or sacrifice to, but because they satisfy our need--distinctive from that of all the other animals--to imagine a meaning, a sense to our lives, to satisfy our hunger, to believe that the muck and chaos of daily existence, this, after all, tend somewhere. It’s the origin of religion, and also of storytelling--or aren’t they both the same thing? As Voltaire said of God: if He did not exist, it would have been necessary to invent Him.”

I then remembered this lady at work who’s so fucking proud of her being a born-again Christian and all, that she wears her religion like a fucking badge and tries to ram her beliefs down everybody’s throats. Every time I talk to her I see “ultra-right-wing” stamped on her forehead. Or was it the number of the beast? She badmouths Catholics, the I.N.C., the Muslims, and anyone else who doesn’t share her faith--even other Protestants! She believes she and her church are the only children of God; that they’re going to be lifted up to heaven come rapture/harvest time while the rest of us, infidels, rot here on earth or worse, in hell.

I told her that God isn’t as close-minded as she’d like to think. God likes to be appreciated through different means (Buddhism, Taoism, Krishna Consciousness, Islam, etc.). That although God is one and the same, He/She/It is known by different names (Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Govinda, etc.) just as we have nicknames. And that God is so powerful She can appear to us in different forms or incarnations/expansions (human, alien, angel, animal, etc.). She cussed and branded me a Satanist. I replied: in fact, God is so kind that He can even appear to you as Satan if that’s how you perceive Him to be. She threw a stapler at me, missed, and never bothered me again.

Then I called to mind my girlfriend in college. She was a fellow left-wing activist--a grim and determined commie at that. She used to mock me ‘cuz, though I shared her dream of a classless society, I never quite gave up my belief in a Supreme Being. While I was into liberation theology, she was heavily into dialectical & historical materialism. I’d kid her that if she died, her epitaph would read: here lies an atheist, all dressed up but nowhere to go. I’d also tease her on her claims of disbelief in God. I’d go: science and logic are, in reality, your gods--just as someone may worship money as a deity or put Karl Marx on a pedestal.

I’d tell her that the concept of heaven we create here on earth will be the same heaven we will go to when we leave this material plane. It goes without saying that your concept of heaven may be different from mine. Like, yours may be a tropical paradise with old people in it, while mine is a playground populated by kids who never grow old. The same thing goes with the idea of God. I may perceive Her as very beautiful, just about my age, my best friend, and a cool buddy to get drunk with; while yours is a bearded old giant in white sitting high up there on a big throne whose face no one is allowed to see. For all we care, dogs have dog heaven, and dog gods too.

Of course, one night I discovered that my girlfriend does believe in God. She was just afraid to admit it to me. I mean, all I could hear from her was “Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God” till morning while we were in that run-down motel. In another occasion, I even caught her reciting the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary” while tears and blood flowed abundantly out of her. She was wearing sandals, like most activists do, and she accidentally stepped on the remains of a broken Molotov bottle during an anti-U.S. bases rally a decade ago. Was it an act of God? I haven’t a clue. I rest my case. Either we live and let live, or we kill each other till the end.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Earth Decay 2009

WHAT: Earth Decay 2009
WHEN: October 24, 2009 | Saturday
WHERE: San Pablo City, Laguna
BANDS: Armas, Aunt Audrey, Ang Bandang Shirley, Bombo Pluto Ova, Caitlyn Bailey, Ginseng Luzon, Goo, Kaktus Karuka, Legarda, Mihara, Omerta, Piledriver, Play, Richard Collier, Settled Down, Shoulder State, Staid, Standout, Syke, Tame The Tikbalang, Tether, The Basking Sharks, The Dorques, The Spirals, Tiger Pussy, Towards The End, Van Gogh’s Ear, Walk Me Home



This Is Bulacan Not Singapore

WHAT: This Is Bulacan Not Singapore (Bisikleta Productions)
WHEN: September 18, 2009 | Friday | 7:00 PM
WHERE: Leprechaun Bar, E. Rodriguez cor. Tomas Morato, Q.C.
BANDS: TSA + Against Man, Throw, ASS, No Peace In Silence, Bad Omen
GATE: 50 pesos



WHEN: September 19, 2009 | Saturday | 8:00 PM
WHERE: Ten02 Bar, Quezon City
BANDS: TSA + Throw, Betrayed, G.I. & The Idiots, Tsunami Tsunami, Against Man, Descant Gott, T.R.A.
GATE: 50 pesos with 1 motherfucking ice-cold beer



SRA Cebu City Tour

WHAT: SRA Cebu City Tour (Struggle for Radical Action)
WHEN: September 11, 2009 | Friday | 9:00 PM
WHERE: Kukuk’s Nest, Cebu City
BANDS: Istukas Over Disneyland, Omerta, Strongwill, More Than Linda, Talk Sick + Armed (Leyte), One Man Down, Twinkle Dudu, No!, 90 Proof, Hard Feces, Minority Blocks, Vampire State, Toxic Orgasm, Gardo, Self Will, Meat Murder, Queen City Crew, 7 Months Later, Guilt To Flow, 3X+1
GATE: 35 pesos

Neighbors - Still Sharp at 14

WHAT: Neighbors-Still Sharp at 14 (Soundblasters)
WHEN: August 28, 2009 | Friday | 9:00 PM
WHERE: Station 7 Restobar, Col. Guido Ext., Brgy. San Roque, Angono, Rizal
BANDS: Neighbors + G2 & The Bundocks, Marcos Cronies, TRA

Climate Action

WHAT: Climate Action
WHEN: August 28, 2009 | Friday | 7:30 PM
WHERE: Volleyball Grounds, Q.C. Memorial Circle
BANDS: Mihara, Divided We Fall, His Divine Grace

Working Class Night, Volume 2

WHAT: Working Class Night, Volume 2 (K4th United Crew)
WHEN: August 22, 2009 | Saturday | 6:00 PM
WHERE: Ten 02 Bar, 43-B Scout Ybardolaza St. cor. Timog Ave., Q.C.
BANDS: Marcos Cronies (Pampanga), Mobster Manila (Manila), The Mighty Tartars (Bulacan), Hopskatch (Makati), Lasenggos (Q.C.), Rocket Punch (Taguig), Settled Down (Batangas), The Exsenadors (Q.C.), Spectators (Makati/Q.C.), Overcome (Manila), Against The Wall (Laguna), Coffin Ride (Manila)
GATE: 50 pesos

T4 - SRA Cebu City Tour

WHAT: T4-SRA Cebu City Tour (Take Four/Struggle for Radical Action)
WHEN: August 22, 2009 | Saturday | 3:00 PM
WHERE: FNB (Food Not Bombs), Labangon, Cebu City
BANDS: Staid, Bystorm, Half The Battle + Embrace Thy Pain, Area Lockdown, Crooked, 7 Months Later, Passing Through, Toxic Orgasm, No!, Vampire State, Queen City Crew, Substance 32, Shrapnel, Boundary, Strike It Down, Guilt To Flow

New Breed of Casualties

WHAT: New Breed of Casualties (Uprising Collective)
WHEN: August 22, 2009 | Saturday | 8:00 PM
WHERE: Brgy. San Mateo covered court, Dasmariñas, Cavite
BANDS: Noise Conspiracy Project, KDSistema, Vex, Giliganne, Befall, Killratio, Censorshit, Anal Fissure, Guerra Mundial, Flash Elorde, Manang’s Curse, Youth For Crust, Afflicted By Addiction, Eyes Of Fire, Voice Of Tranquility, Aggressive Dog Attack, State of Calamity

Fail! Serve

WHAT: Fail! Serve (*Collective & Diypinoyhcpunk.com)
WHEN: August 16, 2009 | Sunday | 5:00 PM
WHERE: Fourth Door Art Gallery, 2450 Karapatan St., Sta. Cruz, Manila
BANDS: Talk Sick (Bulacan), Sister Bastard (Manila), Legarda (Manila), Birds In Formation (Manila), Oh Man! Oh God! (Manila), Planet Shh! (Mandaluyong), Call Them Quits (Pangasinan), Au Revoir (Manila), Omerta (Bulacan), Shirley Steinberg (Bulacan), Ginseng Luzon (Manila), Bee Eyes (Manila), A.W.U. (Manila), Bystorm (Manila)
GATE: 60 pesos



13 Years of Drunkness & Kinship

WHAT: 13 Years of Drunkness & Kinship (Downtown Sampcore Collective)
WHEN: August 15, 2009 | Saturday | 5:00 PM
WHERE: Floyd Rose Bar, Araneta Ave. cor. Victory St., Quezon Shitty
BANDS: Co-Arse, Disabuse, Destruction Of Trust, Paraconflict, Ixion, Noise Conspiracy Project + A.D.A., Askals, Amok, Bloodshedd, Brutal Punishment, Death After Birth, Guerra Mundial, No Peace In Silence, Play, Resurrected, Sedition, Tadjak Pisara
GATE: 30 pesos per drunkard



Final Entry - Symmetry Breaking

WHAT: Final Entry-Symmetry Breaking (Darkmatter Collective)
WHEN: August 14, 2009 | Friday | 5:00 PM
WHERE: Ten 02 Bar, 43-B Scout Ybardolaza St. cor. Timog Ave., Q.C.
BANDS: Torture By Roses, Decay Transit, Filter Filter, Firefly Logic, Names Are For Tombstones, Scarlet Tears, Skies Of Ember, The Slave Drum, Odd, X9

Dreamworlds 3 - Film Showing

WHAT: Dreamworlds 3-Film Showing (Anonymous/Diypinoyhcpunk.com)
WHEN: August 2, 2009 | Sunday | 4:00 PM
WHERE: 9 Mile Bar, Q.C.
BANDS: Eyes Of Fire, A.D.A., Legarda, Guerra Mundial, Play



Beat the Count Round 2

WHAT: Beat the Count Round 2 (Railroad Records)
WHEN: July 18, 2009 | Saturday | 7:00 PM
WHERE: Rockapella Bar, National Hi-way, Brgy. Bubukal, Sta. Cruz, Laguna
BANDS: Ammunition West, Mihara, Piledriver, D.O.A., Brawler, At Full Strength, Unheard, Lie A Sin, Strait Jacket, Pray For Silence
GATE: 50 pesos

Collecticon 2009

WHAT: Collecticon 2009 (Hobbiworx Inc./Pinoy Toy Kolektors)
WHEN: October 10-11, 2009 | Saturday-Sunday
WHERE: Robinsons Place Ermita, Midtown Mall Atrium
WEB: pinoytoykolektors.com

Otaku Taiiki 2009

WHAT: Otaku Taiiki 2009 (Otaku Zine)
WHEN: August 23, 2009 | Sunday
WHERE: Megatrade Hall 3, SM Megamall
WEB: otakuzine-mag.com

Metro Comic Con 2009

WHAT: Metro Comic Con 2009 (Hobbylink Productions)
WHEN: August 8-9, 2009 | Saturday-Sunday
WHERE: Megatrade Hall 1 & 2, SM Megamall
WEB: metrocomiccon.com

MINDstyle Family Art Tradition Exhibit & Toy Launch

WHAT: MINDstyle Family Art Tradition Exhibit & Toy Launch
WHEN: August 7-9, 2009 | Friday-Sunday
WHERE: BratPack, Greenbelt 5 Level 2
WEB: mindstyleph.com



Custom Ex

WHAT: Custom Ex (Customizers Workshop & Exhibit)
WHEN: July 11, 2009 | Saturday
WHERE: Kramer Toy-Warden’s shop, Makati Cinema Square mezzanine



G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - TK/TRU Exclusive

WHAT: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra-Toy Kingdom/Toys R Us Exclusive (Cybertron-Philippines)
WHEN: July 11, 2009 | Saturday | 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
WHERE: Event Center, SM Megamall/Activity Center, Robinsons Galleria



Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen - TRU Exclusive

WHAT: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen - Toys R Us Exclusive (Cybertron-Philippines)
WHEN: June 27-28, 2009 | Saturday-Sunday
WHERE: Activity Center, Robinsons Galleria

Focus on Toys/Cosplay Fusion

WHAT: Focus on Toys/Cosplay Fusion (Maxicollector)
WHEN: June 26-28, 2009 | Friday-Sunday | 4:00 PM
WHERE: South Court, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell
WEB: cosplayfusion.multiply.com





8th Philippine Toys, Hobbies & Collectibles Convention 2009

WHAT: 8th Philippine Toys, Hobbies & Collectibles Convention 2009 (PTK)
WHEN: June 13-14, 2009 | Saturday-Sunday | 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
WHERE: Megatrade Hall 2 & 3, 5th Level Bldg. B, SM Megamall
WEB: toyconph.com
GATE: 100 pesos

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The first wave of Pinoy punk (PinoyPunk.com)

http://pinoypunk.com (In celebrating the 20 years of Punk in 1996--which broke in ‘76 or ‘77, depending on who’s talking, doesn’t matter cuz punks have always been broke!--I wrote the following article: “1976-1996: A PinOi Punk Revolution” in Teenage Anger Fanzine #2 back in the day. Inspired by Edwin Sallan’s “The Evolution of Pinoi Punk: A Chronicle of the Finest Hours” which appeared in Herald X #2 (1987), this timeline has since been reprinted by friends in other local/foreign zines and posted a couple of times online as the “Unofficial History of Philippine Punk”, “Pinoy Punk: The Early Years”, or “20 Years of Pinoy Punk”. For the 30th anniversary of Punk in 2006, a friend-slash-financier and I were supposed to put out a full-length book Loud, Proud, Brown & Punk but the fucker backed out at the last minute [to tie the knot...around his neck hehehe...married, buried, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah!]. And as fate would have it, my friend somehow got to talk about our project with a DJ friend who works at an FM radio station, who in turn has a friend who does documentaries for TV. So, thanks to a friend of a friend of a friend, “Punk’s Not Dead” was aired on GMA-7’s iWitness program in the same year. Oh, and here is a “sanitized” version of the article that inspired it in part.)

1976
A new form of music and lifestyle takes the American and British underground scenes by storm. Punk is born.


1977
Time magazine runs a two-page cover story on “Punk Rock’s Primal Scream” on its July 11 issue entitled “Anthems of the Blank Generation”. The article popularizes the term “new wave” as punk develops into a musical and cultural phenomenon worldwide, overshadowed only by disco’s peak of popularity then. Manila becomes curious.


1978
A wave of wealthy teenage Pinoy expatriates brings punk to Philippine shores from Britain. Filipino punkdom, however, would derive most of its features from punk fanzines in the U.S.

Influenced by his girlfriend, Delilah Aguilar, DZRJ-810 AM--the “Rock of Manila”--radio jock Dante “Howlin’ Dave” David [r.i.p.] introduces punk rock to stunned Manila listeners via the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.”

RJ gets the rights to air BBC-London’s “Rockline” which regularly features the music of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the Boomtown Rats among many others. Filipino awareness becomes apparent.


1979
Among the biggest hits of the year are The Knack’s “My Sharona”, Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, and M’s “Pop Muzik”. Dyna Products, the local distributor of A & M Records, releases The Police’s debut album “Outlandos D’ Amour”.

Top 40 radio station DWRT-99.5 FM, which mainly caters to the so-called “A-B crowd”, includes The Police’s “Roxanne” on its playlist.


1980
On Disco, a small but progressive joint along Roxas Blvd., opens its “New Wave Nights” during weekends. It plays punk rock and new wave, initially featuring Joey “Pepe” Smith of the Juan Dela Cruz Band as regular live performer. Habitués are required to dress up in “new wave gear”. Punk buttons are sold at 10 pesos each.

The Jerks, a five-member group led by former folksinger Chicoy Pura and guitarist Jun Lopito, replaces “Pepe” Smith (whose asking price becomes exorbitant) as On’s regular performer and becomes Pinoy punk’s first major discovery. “Lopito invited me to sing with them and he introduced me to punk rock. They were playing songs by the Ramones, the Damned, and the Dead Boys, as well as the Rolling Stones, which Jun was partial to.”--recalls Chicoy.

Local rock queen Sampaguita goes new wave with her second LP “Sampaguita Vol. II” which features the hit “I’m Behind You” and three more others.


1981
Haribol/Hare Krishna devotee Pabs Dadivas, whose solo pop career enjoyed a brief resurgence, is heckled and jeered during a guest stint at On Disco. His manager and bodyguards maul lead singer Chicoy Pura of The Jerks in disgust.

Two original songs from The Jerks’ debut seven-inch single--“Romantic Kill” and “Big Deal”--and their punk cover of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” receive extensive airplay over DZRJ’s “Pinoy Rock & Rhythm” program.

Manila is treated to more punk and new wave releases from the Sex Pistols, Ramones, XTC, The Cars, The B-52’s, Devo, The Police, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, and The Clash.

Channel 9’s noontime TV show Eat Bulaga launches “Punk Rock Philippines”, a dance contest participated in by weird-dressed couples. Howlin’ Dave and wife Delilah are among the judges during its grand finals.

“Breaking Glass”, a punk movie starring Hazel O’Connor, is shown in Metro Manila.

Jingle magazine, the most respected music rag in the country at that time, starts a series of coverage on the growing punk scene in Manila. The Jerks is the first band to be featured.

The very first Brave New World concert [conceived by Howlin’ Dave from his love of Aldous Huxley’s apocalyptic novel] is organized at the conservative Philippine Trade Exhibits grounds (Philtrade). It sees the debut of Chaos, a teenage punk quartet led by concert organizer Tommy Tanchanco. “Music is just part of the punk lifestyle. What bothered me was that bands were just copying foreign pop music... I got bands to submit original music. They could only play at the concert if they did, so they were forced to write.”--explains guitarist Tommy. The BNW Movement is born.


1982
Student Canteen, Channel 7’s noontime TV show, organizes “Rock Explo”--a contest for rock bands judged on its grand finals by the visiting Little River Band. The Jerks makes it as finalist of the said contest.

New wave flicks like “Liquid Sky”, “Brimstone and Treacle”, and “Pink Floyd: The Wall” are shown during the “Manila International Film Festival” at the CCP Complex.

“Brave New World Part 2” takes place at U.P. Los Baños. “BNW Parts 3 & 4” are held at Philtrade.

On Disco cancels its “New Wave Nights”.


1983
Punks are talking about “The Tribes of Britain”, a seven-page cover story on Time magazine’s October 24 issue about the latest fashion trends and lifestyles in England.

More BNW concerts (Parts 5 & 6) are organized in Philtrade as more local punk and new wave talents emerge; the most noted of which are The Zoo, College, The Lost Boys, Private Stock, and Goons.

Local punks become more creative. They begin designing their own clothes and make their own gear, including their own punk buttons. DIY (do-it-yourself) punk is born. “Punk dresses louder than words.”--Tandem punks

English hairstylist Stephen Bradley establishes Public Image, an expensive hair salon in Manila specializing in punk haircuts.

Punk and new wave classics like “Times Square”, “The Rocky Horror Show”, and “Quadrophenia” are shown at the Manila Film Center.

The Zoo, renamed Ocean Zoo, releases “Animal Party”, a seven-inch four-song EP under their own Insect Dance label. It becomes a first of sorts in the local independent recording industry.

College is banned by radio station DZRJ from further airplay after the group smashed a car’s windshield during a concert at the station’s parking lot. “We don’t read the news, we make it!”--retorts a drunken Arnold Morales, the band’s lead singer and a U.E. music conservatory dropout. At that time, their song “Manila Girl” is the most requested by the station’s listeners. [The same song would become popular in the 90’s via Arnold’s ska outfit Put3Ska.]

RCA-Vicor records Chaos’ “We Are the One” and “Quitter” as a seven-inch single release, and films a music video for both songs.

Wuds, formerly spelled Woods, makes their debut as a transcendental punk rock band [with folk rock as their roots] at “BNW Part 6” and at the second “Punk for Peace: Neighborhood Concert” at Singalong. [The trio would eventually survive the 90’s’ onslaught and continue to make music, first on folksinger Heber Bartolome’s controversial Akasha Records--with “At Nakalimutan ang Diyos”--then on a major record.]


1984
“Now it is nineteen-eighty-four...” [of George Orwell’s dystopia and the Dead Kennedys’ classic] Punks organize themselves into regional or area tribes (“armies”) with names like the Two-Tones (Pasay), Slabs (short for Salabusabs, Sta. Mesa), Mess (Singalong), Nazi-Haters, Wasted Youth (Pasay), Androids (Quiapo), Depraved (F.E.U.), Exploited, Criminals, Dead Paranoids, Rebels (Philippine Rebellious Youth, Paco), Abnormals (Q.C.), Hazards (U.E.), Sub/S.A.D. Army (Search And Destroy, Pandacan), Ruins (Caloocan), and many others; each supporting a certain band or musical style.

Urban Bandit Arnold Morales chases a startled heckler with his stainless switchblade/balisong during the “Rock of the 80’s” concert at Trinity College. Arnold would later be remembered as the rude boy singer who had a repertoire of stock phrases and wore red socks on stage just when the government was cracking down on suspected commies.

Dyna signs Chaos to an unprecedented five-year contract under the Tower label. “Anyway it’s just a piece of paper for us.”--is Chaos’ take on the deal. The group releases its first and only album New Move for Error under the name Third World Chaos [I wonder if Brazilian thrash gods Sepultura bought themselves a copy?]. The NME LP and cassette would suffer from poor promotion and minimal radio exposure, thus finding their way into the bargain bins of record stores. [now worth thousands of pesos on Ebay!]

Formed in “BNW Part 5” and dubbed as the “fastest band in the land”, Betrayed--formerly Jump Boys, originally formed by vocalist Eddie “Tokwa” Siojo in the U.S. (1980) before he attended U.P.--introduces hardcore (HC) to euphoric punk concert-goers as gigs become more violent than ever.

Dead Ends debuts as a HC trio at the “Crappy Halloween” concert organized by the promoters of BNW at the Pasay City Sports Complex. Fronted by high school English/Journalism teacher Al Dimalanta and younger brother Jay, Dead Ends is the Philippines’ answer to the U.S.’s DK. Though DE started out as a heavy metal band (Traffic Jam) practicing in their home studio in Navotas, their lyrics are probably the most thought-out in the scene. “We play punk rock but we aren’t punks, punks are petty hoodlums.”--Al would always point out.

Likewise, the Philippine Violators (Young Offenders at first) makes their debut at the “Oi! Wednesday” concert somewhere in Caloocan. Like Dead Ends, PV is fronted by the brotherly tandem of Bong Espiritu on mics and the younger Jesus “Rotten” on guitars. “School is a place where you must do what you are told and no questions asked, as if you’re some kind of slave.”--Rotten on education. [And like Wuds, PV would carry on into the next decade. The Espiritu brothers would later establish an underground record label in the 90’s called RMD (Rare Music Distributor) and help many struggling local bands in the UG scene before the quartet finally signed to a major.]

College guitarist Enggol “Sid Bukol” survives a stabbing incident at Quezon City.

College disbands. Arnold Morales founds an Oi!/punk outfit called the Urban Bandits, guitarist Enggol forms the Sex Militants with Chiloy on vocals.

Softdrinks giant Pepsi Cola sponsors a punk band contest in Channel 4’s noontime TV show Ito Yun Ang Galing. New wave band Ethnic Faces (formerly Ocean Zoo), fronted by the enigmatic Jack Sikat, wins the grand prize. The Runaway Boys, a rockabilly group, and pop outfit Slyk emerge as runners-up. Other finalists include Betrayed and Wuds. Dead Ends fails to make it to the finals.

The Jerks takes their act to Olongapo City. Guitarist Jun Lopito, an avid fan of Keith Richards, insists on an all-Rolling Stones repertoire.

So-called “punk parties” are organized in the plush outskirts of Forbes Park, Corinthian Gardens, and Valle Verde. The mobile disco business is born.

Punks declare war against preppies (also called “chongs”* or new wavers) and breakdancers (rappers), and vice versa. The Glorietta in Makati, as well as Harrison Plaza and Farmers/Ali Mall-Cubao, becomes the most frequent battleground.

“BNW Part 7” is held in summer at Philtrade. Aloy, a member of the Slabs tribe, attacks Betrayed guitarist Buddy Trinidad with a padlock during a slamdancing spree at “BNW Part 8” held in December. Buddy’s friends come to his rescue and almost maul the poor Slab to death in return. Newly formed acts like the Urban Bandits, Sex Militants, Dead Beat, Vex, Black Signals, Living Entity, 52 Busy Streets, D.D.T. , Negatives, Bio Sparks, Combatants, Underground, Unknown, Androids, Public Scandal, and others support the concert.

Tommy Tanchanco of Chaos forms Paralyzed Body Inc., an indie entrepreneurial company. Twisted Red Cross, an underground cassette label, becomes his first business venture. Recorded at AD & AD Recording Studio**, TRC’s first release Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade is a compilation of sample recordings from the Urban Bandits, Wuds, Betrayed, Dead Beat, Private Stock, Sex Militants, and Public Scandal. The tape, TRC-01, is formally launched at the Glorietta the following year.

Wuds, obsessed with the Hare Krishna religion, begins their “Punks for Peace” campaign. They sponsor a couple of small gigs at their Singalong turf like the “Soldier’s Feast for Peace”, their third neighborhood concert. “We write songs to simply raise the consciousness of every individual because material things won’t make them happy. It’s more on spirituality.”--comments Bobby Balingit, Wuds frontman. Punk vegetarianism and straightedge (sXe) are born.

Converse hi-cut Chuck Taylor colored sneakers become the official shoes of Pinoy punks. Oftentimes, colors are worn mismatched [as in the teenage movie “Bagets” at that time].

Shortly after the conclusion of the “Pepsi Punk Band Contest”, Howlin’ Dave talks Pepsi Cola into organizing a 36-day daily punk concert at the Folk Arts Theater grounds, then called the “Pepsi Fun City”. The affair lasts for barely a week because of too much violence.

Punk buttons, whether imported or homemade, become a prerequisite for the local punk attire. Likewise, spiked and studded wristbands also become essential to the post-Jerks punks.

A locally produced film, “The Punks”, starring the popular That’s Entertainment love team of Rey “PJ” Abellana and Leni Santos, flops at the box office. Punks believe it is due to its wrong interpretation of the local underground scene.

Betrayed disbands, with bass player Chris Carrere and vocalist Eddie Siojo leaving for the U.S. for good. [“Speedy” Eddie would later make a comeback in the 90’s and reform Betrayed with Buddy, this time as a half-American, half-Pinoy hard rock quartet and release an album on a major label.]

Ray “Decay” forms T.R.A.S.H. (Total Rebellion Against Society’s Hypocrites, their song “Teenage Anger” was the inspiration for my fanzine) with Noel Luczon on vocals, Neil on guitars, and Tammy on drums; while somewhere in Navotas, George “Imbecile” Cruz founds Girls. “It’s the music that binds us. Remember when the Beatles came the music was so fast people didn’t know how to deal with it? But it’s not only in the speed but in the lyrics. Our music appeals to the psychology of kids who want to be different, who don’t want to look like anybody.”--remarks the not-so-stupid George Imbecile.

Nito Palacio, formerly of Aunt Irma, records a demo tape of synthesized music for DZRJ’s “Pinoy Rock & Rhythm” program under the name Integrated Circuit. The song, “Rollers on Her Hair”, becomes a DZRJ classic and Nito earns the moniker “Mr. Chips”. [90’s hard rock group Rizal Underground would later popularize the song.] “Warning! Psychologist Sigmund Freud himself said: I should define this cassette tape as a piece of fiction that has unity of expression and that can be listened upon by children below 20 years of age so that they may learn to speak faster, to write faster, to read faster, and to listen faster.”--would be Nito’s intro on TRC-09 three years hence.

Homecoming senator, Ninoy Aquino, is shot dead upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport [now named after him hehehe] by alleged minions of then incumbent president, Ferdinand “Macoy” Marcos. Pinoys become furious [rather short-lived though]. The Urban Bandits pay their respects to the dead solon via their subliminal song “Do You Rebel Rebel” with the chorus lines: “And I know why... (N-I-NO-Y) Oi! Oi!”.

*The term “chong”--to distinguish new wavers from punk rockers--originated from the jocks that spun for the A2Z team. Stubborn teens that couldn’t get into punk music would approach the DJ’s booth and irritatingly ask: “Chong, chong, new wave naman.” The name stuck forever.

**TRC bands would later record at Studio Z in Greenhills, HQ Sounds in Roxas Blvd., and Red X Studio (a.k.a. Tommy’s library room)


1985
Punk becomes a profitable business for T-shirt and RTW (ready-to-wear) manufacturers based in Cartimar, Recto. Shops like Shambhu [no, not shabu!], Khumbmela, Hard Stuff, Arte Linea, and High Adventure among others make a killing in selling punk and new wave gear and clothing. Likewise, the stairs of Tandem Cinema become the favorite hangout of punks and hardcores, and the nearby Dapitan Sports Complex, the favorite concert place. [The coming of the 90’s, however, would see these shops closing down and going out of business, and the stairs of Tandem, vandalized and deserted.] “Hindi ka [Pinoy] punk kung hindi ka pa nakakarating ng Tandem.”--Goodie, wasted punker

Imported vinyls and cassettes of locally unreleased punk and new wave albums, as well as their pirated counterparts, start to proliferate in the underground market. The most notable distros are A2Z Records (owned by Jingle’s Ces Rodriguez) along Anonas St., Q.C. and Third Mind Rare Tapes, among many others. Music distros and pirated tapes are born.

DWXB-102 FM, the “Capital Radio”, becomes the “station that dares to be different”. Located along Donada St. in Pasay City, “102 Music” to the station’s listeners means the new music of New Order, Joy Division, The Cure, and occasionally local wavers Dean’s December, Violent Playground, and Under Blue Skies.

DZRJ (both AM & FM) stops programming punk and new wave in the air, thanks to the station’s owner, Mr. RJ himself [boo!]. DJ Howlin’ Dave distances himself farther from the punk scene and has a bitter falling out with TRC’s Tommy Tanchanco, reasoning that “music has to move on”. Whatever the reasons, the only album-oriented station in the air [as opposed to the prevailing singles-oriented format of most radio stations at that time] has finally signed off.

Betrayed reforms. This time with a new-lineup: Dominic “Papadom” Gamboa (of Absolute Zero) on vocals, Boyet Miguel (of Ethnic Faces) on bass, and Manny “A.J. Peanuts” Pagsuyuin (of Ironic Trauma) on drums [a.k.a. DJ “Jimmy Jam” in the 90’s]. Only Buddy Trinidad on guitars is a remnant of the original Betrayed.

The Jerks disbands. Chicoy Pura forms Triad. Chaos changes its name to Excommunicate. Genocide, The N.E.X.T. (Not Exactly Hardcore Type, which released their debut “Talamak” in the 90’s), and R.D.A. (Rapid Deployment and Antidote) are formed somewhere in the streets of Manila.

Rock critic and punk photographer Didits Gonzales organizes weekly punk gigs at Katrina’s [the Philippines’ answer to the U.S.’s CBGBs], a pub operated by his family at Mabini St., Malate. Slamdancing is allowed during “hardcore Saturday nights” but only when a “referee” is around. Entrance fee is pegged at 10 pesos per punk. Betrayed and Private Stock are the first to play.

The Matimyas House (where Tommy’s condo is) rooftop concert series is organized by the promoters of BNW as more punk groups like George Imbecile & The Idiots (formerly Girls), with a new vocalist by the name of Jun “Idiot” Ortega, and the Phil. Violators are discovered.

Twisted Red Cross releases more UG cassettes: Brave New World Live! Part 3 featuring the live acts of Betrayed, Wuds, TRASH, Sex Militants, Dead Ends, Dead Beat, Urban Bandits, Private Stock, Public Scandal, Excommunicate, Ethnic Faces, and rockabilly group Zoot Suit at “BNW Parts 8 & 9”; Dead Ends’ debut Complaints (which was bankrolled by Al’s pop, “Daddy McLaren”); Urban Bandits’ debut Independence Day; Wuds’ debut A.R.M.S.T.A.L.K. (or Armies’ Reunion for Modern-age Service and Training in Attainment of Love and Knowledge, phew!) [which they reissued in the 90’s as “Oplan Kahon” under their own Criminal Records]; and the “Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade” second compilation, Fatal Response, featuring Dead Ends, G.I. & The Idiots, Wuds, Urban Bandits, and Zoot Suit. The tapes, mixed and recorded at Jim Sarthou’s Studio Z, are sold cheap at 33 pesos each and generally have poor sound quality. The tapes’ cool cassette liners are designed by Dodong Viray [later with A2Z’s Jing Garcia and the Racket Music Group in the 90’s, now s.l.n.]. Lyric sheets are also provided to enable the listeners to relate to words uttered in a rapid half-yelp, half-bark, half-scream style. The bands, with producer Tommy, also drop by mainstream TV shows like the Big, Big Show and Eat Bulaga to promote their cassettes to the public.

Betrayed releases their long-awaited self-titled debut under the DMZ label. It is the fastest selling indie recording at that time. Shortly after that, guitarist Buddy sells all his equipment and vinyls, and leaves for the U.S. indefinitely [to work as a cook or spinner I think].

Rock Ola, a dance club along Vito Cruz, becomes the hottest hangout of punk and new music lovers all over Manila until it decides to jack up its entrance fee. The chong place closes down as expected.

Arnold Morales brings a golf club with him during an Urban Bandits guest stint at Channel 7’s TV show Discorama. When interviewed on the spot, Arnold says he uses the golf club to “smash the heads of assholes that are against the local punk movement”.

CMT combat boots replaces Converse colored sneakers as the official shoes of Pinoy punks. Tie-dyed jeans are also the “in-thing” with punks. The more financially gifted and more resourceful ones begin displaying their Doc Martens/DMs safety shoes and one-inch-soled Creepers (mostly made-to-order at some of Recto’s veteran shoemakers like Glenmore and Luciano) as part of their so-called “Type A” get-up. Bondage pants and surplus military gear are also a common sight among updated punks.

The last original BNW concert (Parts 8 & 9) takes place at Philtrade for two successive weekends. It marks the end of an era.

Arnold Morales forms Y.S.M. (Youth Solidarity Movement) after the sudden inactivity of the BNW Movement. YSM aims to continue what BNW has begun: to organize more punk gigs and to support small and lesser known underground bands. [Jun Tisoi would later take over the helms of YSM when the 80’s came to an end.] “The concerts ended with Howlin’ Dave singing the Sex Pistols’ version of ‘My Way’ over the 1980-85 run of BNW, and he was backed up by whoever was there that night. The song was transformed into a anthem of Pinoy punk.”--Buddy of Betrayed


1986
A four-day “revolution”...no, make that “uprising” [better yet, “fiesta”] at EDSA overthrows the 20-year old puppet government of Marcos from power (listen to G.I. & The Idiots’ classic “The Flag”) and installs the new puppet government of Cory Aquino. Punks couldn’t care less [I mean, who the hell cares!]. “Punk and politics don’t mix.”--Arthur “Seda” Bandalan, punk before, now N.P.A.

Katrina’s pub closes down. The punk movement needs something to keep it alive and kicking.

DWXB is sequestered by the new administration’s Presidential Commission on Good[?] Government. Normal operations, however, resume on a voluntary basis. Still, the station manages to discover local talents playing new music like The Dawn and Identity Crisis, and is still able to organize a couple of new wave parties.

Chaos plays their last gig at Rock Ola (just when the club reopens its doors) and calls it quits indefinitely. Likewise, Ray Decay disbands TRASH and forms Deceased with Bubboi “The Bones” on bass and Jun “Bandit” on drums.

More TRC releases, including the reissue of Betrayed’s debut, invade the underground market. Among them are Dead Ends’ second effort Second Coming, G.I. & The Idiots’ debut Fascinating World of Garbage; the last “Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade” compilation 3rd Bombardment which features the Phil. Violators, Private Stock, Deceased, R.D.A., Chaos, Betrayed, Collision, and I.O.V. (Intoxication Of Violence); and Katrina’s Live! (Tamana Away!!!) recorded live during the last gig at the said pub featuring Betrayed, Wuds, G.I. & The Idiots, and Private Stock.

Private Stock, the rockabilly/mod group who wears their schoolboy uniforms on stage, releases their debut Hype’s Cool! under Payola Records, an indie label put up by then Jingle writer Butch Maniego [yup, the former P.B.A. guy] to bankroll his younger brother’s album--guitarist Mel.

The cult film “Sid & Nancy: Love Kills” is shown in some of Manila’s movie houses.

More than 700 punks, mistaken for drug addicts, are rounded up by the police during the concert “Suicide: The Only Alternative” at U.E.-Recto while G.I. & The Idiots is playing. The incident makes headlines in such broadsheets as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and tabloids like the People’s Journal. The drug charges are later dropped by the cops due to lack of sufficient evidence. “Well, what were the police supposed to think? All these people in black, slamdancing, the music. Many people don’t understand us, even some people in the movement itself.”--George Imbecile on the arrest.

Former Absolute Zero bass player Je Bautista [s.l.n.] joins Betrayed replacing Bong “Fluoride” who suddenly does a disappearing act.

An uninvited Betrayed jams at a chong concert at the ULTRA [“Ultrastorm”?]. Lead singer Dominic Gamboa smashes two microphones in excitement, and is beaten up in “excitement”. Dominic is later charged with destruction of property by the concert organizers. He counters by threatening to file charges of serious physical injuries. Case settled.

Violence erupts from slamdancing during a guest performance of Betrayed at the recognition night of the “1st Independent Film and Video Festival” at the Wave Cinema in Cubao. Mowelfund director Lamberto Avellana, who is present at that time, is culture-shocked and utterly disgusted with what happened.

Triad disbands. Lead singer Chicoy Pura returns to folk singing and reforms The Jerks in Olongapo City with a new line-up. [Though a pioneer in the indie scene and probably the most influential band in the early 80’s, it wasn’t until the late 90’s that The Jerks was finally able to cut an album. First, a live recording during a gig at Mayrics pub on activist Gary Granada’s “progressive” Backdoor Records, then later their debut album on a major label, long after other bands (whether punk or not) that they’ve influenced have released theirs.] On the other hand, guitarist Jun Lopito (and wife) enters a drug rehabilitation center to detoxify. [The guitarist would eventually become a Buddhist and play his instrument again with the coming of the new age.]

Allan, a skinhead punk, is found brutally murdered, “salvaged” allegedly by cops, in one of Manila’s slums. TRC-11 is dedicated in the memory of the slain tribesman.

Heavy metal band Warhead releases their debut album, “Meltdown”, on a major label.


1987
The Urban Bandits disbands. Arnold Morales forms Music Front with former bandmate Fur on bass, ex-Zoot Suit Rainier on guitars, and ex-Sex Militants Chiloy on drums. “We’re not a band, we’re modern newscasters.”--Arnold on his previous band. Not long after, the group also disbands and Arnold suddenly finds himself singing in an opera [at least for a while].

Betrayed plays their last gig at the “World Annihilation” concert at Ortañez University and calls it quits permanently. Vocalist Dominic Gamboa, a prime mover of the International Music Workers Union and the War Resisters League then, founds the first generation of reggae group Tropical Depression. The line-up consists of The Jerks’ Chicoy Pura on guitars, ex-Betrayed Je Bautista on bass, and ex-Dead Ends Harley Alarcon on drums. The same group later forms a ska outfit called the SkaVengers for fun. SkaLawags, another pioneer ska band, also graces the scene. [Ska would eventually gain more local adherents in the 90’s, particularly its bastard child “ska-punk”, thanks to its American proponents like Operation Ivy and the rest of the “California sunshine” punks.]

Smile Plenty, an experimental noise outfit, is formed. Within time, noisecore/grindcore/splattercore would make its deafening presence felt in the underground, courtesy of some of Manila’s lesser talented bands...and their utter lack of musicality.

Private Stock disbands. [The group would resurface in the 90’s, as full-fledged dentists, and do a couple of club gigs before finally fading into oblivion.]

DWXB closes down. Its DJs try to organize a couple of new wave parties to save the beleaguered radio station, but to no avail. As a last-ditch effort, the station organizes “The Final Countdown”, its farewell concert-party, at the CCP Complex and forms the 102 Club as its lasting legacy to its listeners.

DWNU-107 FM-- the “Home of New Rock”, and DWBM-105 FM--the “Power Station” hit the new music airwaves. [Though NU would carry on into the next decade’s alternative rock scene, BM wouldn’t be as lucky. Another radio station, Ed Formoso’s “Rock of the World” DWLA-105 FM, would shortly join NU on the air in the early 90’s, though it too would suffer XB’s fate. Still, LA would be instrumental to the second wave of pinoy punk, even if some of its DJs blatantly pitted punks against hip-hoppers in a vain attempt to attract more listeners--really, what a cheap marketing ploy. Said radio jocks also made an overkill on the term “alternative”.]

The Philippine National Red Cross threatens to sue Tommy Tanchanco in court for using the international Red Cross symbol on his TRC products and tapes. Tommy, being the son of an influential ex-government minister, brushes the threats aside.

G.I. & The Idiots drummer Louie “We Gotta Go” Guiang [r.i.p.] survives a stabbing incident at the “Self-Destruction” concert at Ortañez University.

Dead Ends--with G.I. & The Idiots, IOV, Genocide, and others--takes their act to Olongapo City. The gig, sponsored by Tropical Viruses, is marred by skateboard-bashing, bottle-throwing, several knifings, and good old fistfights. The concert eventually ends in total chaos and violence as Manila’s punks clash with Olongapo’s punks. The tribal war between Manila’s punks and Olongapo’s punks has begun.

TRC releases more UG cassettes: IOV’s debut Another Destructive Century, Dead Ends’ third album Damned Nation, RDA’s (now Reformed Destruction for Action) debut Brave United in Trust, and the Phil. Violators’ debut At Large! [All four bands would make a comeback in the 90’s after some period of hibernation. Ex-IOV bassist Rady (minus vocalist Xeres, guitarist Gerri, and drummer Undo) would later join forces with vocalist Jun Idiot of G.I. & The Idiots (sans guitarist Benjie, bassist George, and drummer Louie) to form Hard K (“K” for Kulangot). GI would later reform and release their DIY second album “Technology Eats the World” (under their Recycled Records & Tapes outfit), which contained the anthemic song “Spirit of the 80’s (Where Have All the Tribes Gone)”. RDA would still be RDA and vocalist Ollie “Punk rock is the last revolution!” Malolos would still be the wasted punk that he is, with some members (guitarist Angelo, bassist Mandy, or drummer Ferdie, I’m not quite sure who) joining the local PNP police force. PV would release two more indie albums under their RMD label, “State of Confusion” and “The Third Offense”, before landing on a major. Dead Ends would pursue the thrash metal grind (a la Slayer) and self-produce their fourth and last album, “Mamatay sa Ingay”, with all songs sung in Tagalog (a Dead Ends’ first). Soon afterwards, bassist Jay Dimalanta would die in his sleep, marking the end of DE’s career.]

TRC tapes find their way into the review section of Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll, the U.S.’s (and probably the world’s) longest-running punk fanzine. Local punk bands couldn’t be any prouder.

Punk fanzine Herald X hits the newsstands. Sold at 20 pesos and published by Tommy Tanchanco and friends, HX becomes the “alternative music read” for the country’s bored generation. Published in newsprint, it becomes a first of sorts in the local DIY publishing industry and immediately becomes the official paper of the local underground movement.

A short experimental film, “Generation Loss”, makes it as entry to the “1987 CCP Short Film and Video Festival”. The punk film’s soundtrack features the music of the Urban Bandits, Dead Ends, Betrayed, Dead Beat, and Wuds.

The Catholic Church and other religious groups--with the help of the country’s leading print and broadcast media--discredit the local punk scene and brand hardcore as satanic. Rumors and black propaganda falsely accusing punk tribes as satanic cults roaming Manila’s streets and stalking public elementary schools to look for human sacrifice [as in eating children’s hearts and all that shit] strike the scene. “Satanism” becomes the main course in most TV and radio talk shows, making newspaper headlines and all--with punk as their favorite whipping boy of course. In response, some punks reluctantly forbid the wearing of all-black clothing or anything black for a time until the hubbub and rumors die down. “How can we be Satanists when some of us don’t even believe in a god?”--blurts one devout Tandem punkster.

Herald X comes out with an exposé on the satanist-cult scare menacing Manila. The article exposes the public fear as nothing but the top secret works [read: psy(chological)-war(fare)] of the U.S. government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Philippines as part of its Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) program on third world countries hostile to its foreign policies. With the blessings of the Aquino puppet regime, the satanist rumors are concocted to divert the public’s attention from the bloody Mendiola massacre that happened right in front of Malacañang Palace early in the year, and also to silence the peasant movement’s growing clamor for genuine land reform in a predominantly landlord-class bureaucracy [the President herself owns a hacienda for fuck’s sake!]. The massacre is foretold by the Urban Bandits in their song “Battle of Mendiola”, and RDA in “Violent Dispersal”.

Punks celebrate the yuletide at the “Merry Christmess” gig in U.P. The concert is a mess as expected as punk bands thrashed the instruments, scaring the shit out of new wave groups who never got to play. “O-organize organize kayo ng gig hindi naman ninyo kilala yung mga banda. Buti pa ako hindi organizer pero kilala ko lahat ng banda pati mga members nila.”--Jojo Aseclo, attending punk gigs on his crutches/wheelchair.


1988
Asia magazine runs a one-page cover story on the Philippine punk scene with the title “Punk’s Alive and Well” on its September 4 issue. “Punks believe in anarchy. We believe in self-rule, whether what we do conforms or does not conform with the system.”--Tommy Tanchanco interviewed.

Crossover, a mix of hardcore and heavy metal, slowly invades the punk scene as more metal acts, particularly thrash, emerge from the UG. Skate rock or “skate punk” also becomes popular as more and more punks are getting into skateboarding, headbanging, and the mosh pit (the pogo’s “more energetic” version). Pinoy thrashers are born. [Crossover would eventually evolve in the 90’s as crust and reclaim Sampaloc’s downtown area.]

Friday The 13th, D.F.A. (Death From Above), A.O.D. (Agony Of Destruction), M.A.D. (Mutual Assured Destruction), V.O.D. (Valley Of Death), Discant X, Tribulation, Mere Mercy (which sold out to shitty new wave), and other new thrash/crossover acts emerge from their respective garages.

Foxcore or “femcore” and the riot grrrls movement (yup, even before 1991) make their presence felt in the male-dominated underground scene with female-led bands like the Tribunals, Suicidal Syndrome, and Fatal Disguise.

In Laguna, the hardcore crew (New York style) of Biofeedback is formed. [BFK would eventually pave the way for the development of NYHC in the scene (both old school and new school), particularly down south. BFK’s only album “Hardtimes”, under the DIY Mutilated Noise label, was released in the mid-90’s and was a ground-breaking achievement from the provincial scenesters.]

Deceased’s debut cassette, Never Rest in Peace, is the lone release of TRC for the year as X-producer Tommy gets more and more inactive in the punk scene. Recorded at Fullerton Audio, the tape is produced by George Imbecile of G.I. & The Idiots fame. [Deceased would also pursue the thrash metal grind in the 90’s (like Dead Ends) and self-produce their second album “Reborn”, under their Darkmoon label].

Skate-contests-cum-concerts become the trend in many punk gigs like “Nightmare on Skatestreet”, “Aggression Session”, and many others. Some notable gigs of the year that are either forcibly stopped by cops or ended in total chaos and violence are “Start the Conflict” at the Dapitan Sports Complex, “Glad to Be Alive” at the Y.M.C.A., “No Stopping Us” at Philam Homes, Q.C., and “A Twist in My Nerve” at Trinity College.

DIY fanzines, which are usually handwritten or typewritten [no computer shit yet] and then photocopied/xeroxed, flood the underground market after Herald X’s inactivity after only two issues. The most noted zines are Garbage, Blatant Underground, Mutilated News, Anti, Manila Oi! Paper, Warewolf, Scrap, and Grrowll (which is the first local zine to feature foreign scene reports and bands), among many others.

Chong magazine Score appears on thick glossy paper. Sold at 35 pesos, it features new wave and a little punk stuff. It comes out with only four issues before finally folding up.

Red Rocks, an alternative rock pub at Timog Avenue, Q.C. (Club Dredd’s predecessor) becomes the hottest hangout of punks, thrashers, and chongs alike when there are no major gigs around.


1989
The Duke of Charlez organizes the RAD concert tour (“Rock Against Drugs”) featuring thrash, crossover, and punk bands from the UG side by side chong/new wave groups. The tour starts at U.P. and makes the rounds of Manila’s universities.

Punk concerts become harder to get by as TRC releases Philippines: Where Do We Go From Here? TRC-19 is a punk-thrash compilation featuring the music of Discant X, Infernal Wrath, MAD, Banned, VOD, Death Threat (not that former rap outfit), Fatal Disguise, Distorted Minds, and UdK. Produced by Benjie Sengson of GI, the compilation becomes TRC’s last as the “music that makes headlines” ceases to be. [In fact, the question posed by the V/A compilation’s title is in itself a sad statement on where the punk scene is heading. TRC tapes would later be reissued in the mid-90’s by the bands themselves after ending their long leave of absence from the scene that spawned them.]

Somewhere in Tondo’s slums, the country’s first death metal outfit is formed. Crematorium is born. This birth would mark the dawn of more sinister things to come to the local underground, particularly of the death/doom/black metal kind.


1990
Tommy Tanchanco, like Howlin’ Dave and the rest, leaves the punk scene for good and becomes the manager of chong band Introvoys [ha! what the?]. “It’s hard to respond when people ask, ‘Are you a punk?’. Some people think it’s all in the look, but it’s all in the attitude.”--comments Tommy for the last time.

Bad Omen is founded by former Phil. Violators groupies. [Bassist Jon Fishbone would soon establish an underground record label in the mid-90’s called Middle Finger and, like PV’s RMD, help many struggling bands in the UG to express and unite themselves through its various compilation albums. MFP would eventually become the 90’s’ answer to the 80’s’ TRC.]

As the 80’s come to a close, many punk/hardcore bands either have to disband or lie low. Some groups begin pursuing the thrash/death metal genre while others start joining the core of future mainstream/alternative acts. As for the average punk-in-the-street, a few choose to grow their hair to chest-length and become headbangers while many decide to just cut their mohawks and spikes and live regular 8 to 5 lives. Though some may have moved on and forgotten the whole underground scene which they’ve helped sustain for over a decade, still, a few brave souls would remain to continue the struggle into the 90’s and carry on with what the movement had begun and stood for. Punk’s not dead!

Metal fanzine Bakal hits the newsstands. Punk and new wave are unofficially pronounced dead in R.P...but the revolution continues. [this article, to be concluded in a book]


Today, only these tell the story:







Soundtrack: "Spirit of the 80’s (Where Have All the Tribes Gone)" by G.I. http://pinoypunk.com