Tuesday, June 30, 2015

55. The Kapampangan Traveler: G'DAYS IN SYDNEY

(Originally published on K Magazine, 2005 issue)


How would you like to blow my didgeridoo? Pet my wallaby? Catch a kookaboora? Or better still, diddle with my dingo? Anything and everything is possible in the amazing land of OZ—Australia, that is—the island continent down under, where I had the chance to do all these (well, almost!) when I took off for the 2000 Olympic City—Sydney—on several business and leisure trips. Mates, do I love my job!

 Sydney is just an overnight sleep away on a Qantas flight, seven hours and twenty minutes, to be exact. After a quick stop at Melbourne, I arrived in Sydney wide awake and all my pre-conceived notions about this country populated in part by 19th century convicts and prisoners vanished as quickly as a kangaroo kick on my face. Sydney is a people-friendly place, a melting pot of cultures that has become inexplicably and uniquely Australian, blending English aristocracy with aboriginal pride, with a dash of Asian and Pacific flavors thrown in.

 The first thing that hit me upon arrival was the thick Paul Hogan accent that sounded like English spoken while chewing extra-thick bubble gum. That took awhile to get used to, and it was indeed fascinating to converse with expatriated Filipinos speaking with that distinctive Australian brogue, which, after awhile became quite affecting, g’ness gracious, mates!

 En route to Darling Harbor, I surveyed the perfectly-preserved historic districts that date back to the Victorian age, still functional after all these years. Ancient church spires and Victorian gingerbreads gave way to a sleeker, modern skyline as I neared the harbor, the commercial heart fo the city. One can cover the different districts from here, with a Monorail providing quick, convenient access. Right across my hotel was the Harborside shopping area, lined with seafood restaurants, boutiques and hundreds of tourist traps!

 But shopping was not on top of my priority list of to-do’s. Soon as I dropped my bags at Novotel, I hied off to tour the city, starting with the famed Australian cultural landmark, the Sydney Opera House. The house sits majestically on Bennelong Point, overlooked by the great Sydney Harbour bridge. Like 3 orange segments, the sectioned roofs with their pure curving shapes, rise from the harbour, a family of forms rooted in expressionist modern style. The house was designed by Jorn Utzon, and was built from 1957-1973, an awe-inspiring architectural and engineering marvel of the 20th century.

 Hyde Park was another sight to see, a wide expanse of greens dotted with old world obelisks, monuments and statues, including that of Captain Cook. The Victoria shopping district is a fine example of the successful preservation and conservation programs of the Australian government, re-engineering old, otherwise inutile buildings for contemporary use as malls, commercial and business spaces.

 Sydney isn’t Sydney without the surf, sun and sand, and so Bondi Beach was my next stop, a beach bum’s paradise with an endless coastal line perfect for swimming, surfing and sailing. But with the nippy September weather upon us, the much ballyhooed bikini-wearing Baywatch babes and hunky Aussie lifeguards were nowhere to be found!

 For the culturati, Sydney has a lively arts-and-culture scene that is not quite West End or Broadway, at least, not yet. But the few entertainment offerings are still of world-class quality. At the Capitol Theater near Haymarket (famous for its weekend flea markets), I watched the Australian staging of Miss Saigon, starring our very own Cocoy Laurel and Joanna Ampil. There was a sizeable Pinoy crowd judging from the shouts of “Mabuhay” during the curtain calls, audible from my seat. For one moment, I swelled with pride as the international audience gave the Pinoy-dominated cast a standing ovation after another. I was humming “Last Night of the World” in my fake Australian accent all the way to my hotel.

 The natural wonders of Australia were next on my itinerary. I had delirious visions of wild bushlands, inhospitable terrains and savage heat that would put to shame the hellish conditions dramatized in the “Survivors” reality TV show. However, upon arriving at the Wildlife Park, I went a-goo-goo and a-gaga over the furry little koalas, the spritely kangaroos and their joeys, wallabies and even cute wombats in this well-maintained animal sanctuary!

 An hour’s drive from there, the landscape drastically changed as the Blue Mountains loomed in sight. Echo Point provided a look-out vantage point to the awesome natural marvels that include an unusual rock formation called “Three Sisters”, three rock towers jutting sky high from the ground. There was a legend surrounding “Three Sisters”, but I doubt if it’s as colorful as the account of our very own Sinukuan and his 3 daughters. Definitely not for the faint-hearted is a ride on the Skyway that takes you across the deep gorge while suspended inside an iron cage!

 My last trip top Sydney was arranged under different circumstances in 1999, for this time, I came back to shoot a commercial for Jag Jeans with my producers, creative team and clients. That meant staying in a budget hotel at the celebrated Oxford Street, which I didn’t mind really. Much like New York’s Greenwich Village, Oxford is the bohemian enclave of Sydney, where quirky artists, leather-clad skinheads and pierced punks, gays and lesbians congregate with their own kind amidst surf shops, 2nd hand book stores, porn and fetish boutiques, gay clubs and bistros.

 My interest though was more on the quaint antique shops on South Dowling Street and at Woolhara, which carried an assortment of antique frames, books, playthings, furniture, jewelry and plain junk. Here, wheeling and dealing is the name of the game and I haggled until I was blue in my face over a large green apothecary jar which I finally got for my bottle collection. But if Oxford is non-conformist, nearby King’s Cross is hardcore. This is a tamer version of Patpong, a more sophisticated Fields Avenue, but still as notorious for its promise of sex and sleaze at every bend.

 Sydney’s open, tolerant attitude—a broadened perspective that is shared by most of Australia—may as well be its biggest attraction. With little exception, Asians will feel welcomed here, and the motley of Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Filipino communities co-habiting peacefully are a testament to Australia’s open-arms policy, regardless of creed, conviction, and yes, even sexual orientation. The annual gay and lesbian parade, a festival that celebrates alternative lifestyles and which has grown into an event of international proportions, further solidifies the country’s liberal stance. 

So, mates, if you want to resist the usual, if you crave unbridled adventure to the extreme—Sydney, with all its wild, amazing wonders, a rich cultural heritage and a happy-go-lucky, anything goes approach to life—is the place to be!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

54. CESAR AMORSOLO’S WARRIOR PRINCESS

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. Oil painting of a native warrior princess, by Cesar Amorsolo, signed, painted and dated 1956. 22 x 30". 

 Early paintings of the Filipina almost always depict her as a shy, sweet demure lady, dressed in embroidery-embellished baro’t saya, adorned with her jewelry pieces. In her fair hands, she holds a fan—for fluttering, fanning and for hiding her smile. For years, this was the stereotype image of her—until artists looked for other painting inspirations that showed her differently.

 The rise in popularity of ethnic type paintings afforded the adventurous artist more leeway in presenting the Filipina. It was a movement that flowered in the 50s, partly fuelled by the tourism industry, which drove interest for portrait paintings of ethnic minorities, in their colourful, native attire.


 Suddenly, it was alright to paint her as an ethnic princess, dressed in her native—and skimpy-- outfit, showing more skin, her delicate parts covered only in beads. Unlike her urbanized sister, this ethnic Filipina displays a more tempered mien, ranging from a controlled smile to a serious, stern, almost willful expression,  Soon, variations of the portrait paintings cropped up—and one enduring image that emerged was that of the Warrior princess.

Picture source: The Struggle for Philippine Art, by Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, Amadis Ma. Guerrero, (c) 1974 by Purita Kalaw-Ledesma. p. 22.

One famous painting came from the brush strokes of Antonio Dumlao---“Princess Urduja”—the fabled royalty from Pangasinan. In this 1955 prize-winning masterpiece, the princess is arrayed like a warrior—bare-breasted, her right hand clutching the handle of a kampit, the left, on her narrow waist. She stands proudly with her head and chin up, her eyes merely slits, her lips pursed—an intimidating sovereign, indeed. Yet, her delicate, feminine side can be gleaned from her adornments—strings of colored beads on her chest, circlet earrings, bangles and bracelets, feathers and gold beads on her hair, and a woven wrap-around for a skirt. The princess cuts a striking figure, but exuding sensual power.


 A rush of artists quickly replicated this new representation of the Filipina – a perfect combination of beauty and brawn, strength and softness. Cesar Amorsolo (Jan. 1912-1998) was one such painter who helped perpetuate the image of the ‘’Warrior Princess”. Amorsolo was born in Manila, and was educated at the University of the Philippines, earning in Fine Arts degree in 1934. He was the son of Alejandro Amorsolo, whose brother was the National Artist Fernando Cueto Amorsolo.

 The painting of ethnic types was not new to him; in fact, he was well known for painting them in pastel. He became a member of the Academy of Philippine Artists, and he achieved a measure of success when his works were included in the Travelling Art Exhibition sponsored by the Dela Rama Shipping Co. Inc.


 This large painting on canvass, dated 1956, shows a seated young bronzed beauty, naked , saved for her beads, bracelets and loincloth. Her styling is similar to the work of Dumlao, right down to her kris in one hand. Her left hand holds a native hat. But unlike Dumlao’s Urduja, this nubile princess stares directly at the viewer with steely, scheming eyes. Such power does her gaze hold!

 The lighting effect is outstanding in this artwork, echoing the sunlit canvass o his famous artist-uncle. The glint of the sun bathes the flawless kayumanggi skin of the subject in a wash of golden ochre. The monotone background of clay tapayans (jars), coconuts, nipa walls and bamboo flooring set off the browned, burnished complexion of our warrior princess.


 Amorsolo’s take on the Warrior Princess has become my favorite midcentury piece, for its sheer artistic qualities, a fine Filipiniana piece when an artists’s talent was measured in terms of his technical skills—in his ability to draw beautifully the human form, to replicate realism and to illuminate his work with his palette of colors.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

53. Review: LAND OF THE MORNING: The Philippines and Its People

Genre: History 
Author: David Henkel, Julius Bautista et. al. Publisher: Singapore: Asian Civilization Museum, 2009, 173 pp. 

This slim, but large page book is actually the companion guide to the Philippine exhibit staged at the Singapore Art Museum, with over 14,000-sq m dedicated to showcases of Philippine cultural artifacts from the precolonial era until today. It explores the identity of the Filipino people, described as “warm, resilient and synonymous with the People Power movement.” The exhibit ran from October to January 2010.

The exhibit book documents, in rich, color photographs, a lot of the stunning items loaned from prominent collectors like Paulino & Hetty Que, the Lopezes, Ramon Villegas and Dr. Teyet Pascual and from private corporations like the Ayala Museum and Intramuros Adminsitration. Highlights include Philippine colonila ecclesiastical arts.An exhibit on Philippine culture is not complete without a look at the influences of Roman Catholicism.

On display is a 19th-century carroza made of silver sheets and adorned with mother-of-pearl flowers. Atop is an image of Mary and the Infant Jesus in ivory with silver gilt, velvet gown and gold threads. Ivory Ninos, folk santos, relieves, a Leyte gilt altar and other outstanding religious carvings like a folk belen and God the Father retablo, are featured in this section annotated by Dr. Julius Bautista, a Filipino professor working at the National University of Singapore. (I had the pleasure of meeting Julius in Pampanga, when he came over to research on the province's Lenten neitential rites last April.)

The book also explores ethnic arts, fashion and even the 1986 People Power with political memorabilia like Ninoy pinbacks, headbands, yellow ribbons and other EDSA mementos. Interesting too are the gowns created for former First Ladies, including the Valera-designed balck and white terno made for Imelda Marcos. Page after page of beautifully photographed pictures of colonial paintings, Lozano letras y figuras and hand colored antique prints of Philippine costumes are virtual eye candies for collectors and art historians alike. The book, a bit pricey at Php 1200, is available at National Book Store, but copies are very limited.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

52. REWARDED WITH AN OSCAR

When I began collecting paintings in 1995, one of the very first I acquired was a large work on canvass by an artist named Oscar T. Navarro. The name of the painter was my least concern at first—it was the theme that mattered to me most. I have always been partial to conservative Filipiniana paintings and this particular ‘woman on a banca’ scene I instantly liked—not just because of the subject but also because of the price; it was available in two easy installment terms!


 Eventually though, I got interested in the artist behind the painting. I looked up “Oscar Navarro” on available art books and found out that his works were included in the Jorge Vargas Filipiniana Collection. Born on 24 January 1921, Navarro had belonged to the first batch of U.P. Fine Arts students whose studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Most of his classmates died in the Bataan Death March. After the war, he established his talyer in Ermita in 1949.


Painting in the realist tradition, he won many prizes in the Conservative Category at the AAP Exhibitions from 1951 thru 1955. He also was a superb landscapist, and it was his mastery of this genre that attracted me to his work in the first place.



Since then, many have started discovering the works of this Manila artist, and a quick search on art auction sites, including good old ebay, turned up a small cache of Navarro paintings now carrying hefty price tags, from a low of $399 to over $1,000!



So it was indeed a pleasant shock for me to discover a rather long and large Oscar Navarro flower painting in a ramshackle antique shop in Bulacan, hidden behind vintage furniture pieces.


Other than the name of the artist which can be legibly read, the dealer knew nothing about the artist. When pressed for more information about the painting, he told me that it had hanged in the living room of an old house.



The painting, dated 1970 and measuring approximately 24 x 48 inches, was done in the later years of the artist’s life (he died 22 December 1973, aged only 52). It sharply departed from his traditional landscape works of which he was more noted for; this example shows a still-life of brilliant colored zinnia flowers bursting from a vase, each rendered in distinct bold strokes and using thick paint, characteristic of Navarro’s deft, energetic technique.



It is a highly commercialized work for sure, more decorative than artistic, meant to enliven a drab wall or to fill up an empty space, but it still is a pristine example from the artist’s late period. Except for crayon markings on the lower part of the canvass, the painting, in its original stretcher and wood and gesso frame—is in very good condition.



And now, the most exciting part was inquiring about the price of this Navarro work of art. Will I be able to afford it? Will I be able to bring it home? Or will this be another case of “the one that got away?”

 The quote was Php3,500 pesos.

 And this Oscar goes to...


Monday, January 20, 2014

51. Star Shrine: THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY

 MEET THE PARTRIDGES! Fan photo of the Patridge Family, inspired by The Cowsills, a real family band that performed in the 1960s. Back Row: Mom Shirley (Shirley Jones), manager Ruben Kincaid (Dave Madden), guitarist and vocalist Keith (David) Cassidy and organist Laurie (Susan Dey)/ Front Row: drummer Chris (Brian Forster), bassist Danny (Danny Bonaduce) and tambourine-playing (Suzanne Crough).

C’mon get happy!

Thus sang the Partridge Family, a family of pop musicians led by widow Shirley Partridge and her brood of 5 children: Keith, Laurie, Danny, Tracy and Chris (played by Jeremy Gelbwalks/ Brian Forster) . I was 13 when this hit U.S. sitcom series debuted on Philippine TV.


WHATTA DOLL! A paper doll box of the Partridges, musical residents of Sycamore Rd. San Pueblo, California.


TOPPS TRADING CARDS. Star photos on the front and lyrics of their hit songs at the back. Your collect a whole set of these cards and then you figure out what to do with them.

I became a fan in 15 minutes, and avidly followed their funny adventures as they went on a musical tour aboard their funky Mondrian-painted bus. Each episode was punctuated by their (lipsynched) songs that topped the billboard charts: “I Think I Love You”, I Can Feel Your Heartbeat”, “Looking Through the Eyes of Love”, “I”ll Meet You Halfway”.


CAUGHT ON TAPE. VHS Copies of the Partridge Family episodes.

 70s MOST FAMOUS TEEN STAR. Lion-maned David Cassidy, on the cover of LIFE Magazine, was already 24 years old when he starred as the 16 year old Keith in the TV series.

 Clearly, the star of the hit series was the moptop David Cassidy—today’s Zac Efron-- who played 16 year old Keith to Shirley, played by Shirley Jones, his real-life stepmother.


 PARTRIDGE COMICS. Had a bunch of these comic books which were so difficult to find at the local book shops, because they were so expensive and came in limited number!

Everyone in high school tried so hard to copy his signature hairstyle—parted in the middle, fluffy and wind-blown—but we could never get our hair to behave like his mane.


PARTRIDGE OUT TO LUNCH. My tin lunchbox featured the singing family on the thermos and the Mondrian-painted school bus that the Partridges drove when on tour.


PARTRIDGE FAMILY GAMEBOARD

Of course, as a rabid fan, I never failed to watch the 30 minute episode after school each week-end—which had guest stars like Farrah Fawcett, Mark Hamill, Jodie Foster and Jaclyn Smith—long before they became stars in their own right.


PARTRIDGE FAMILY BOOK SERIES. To keep your parents spending, paperbacks of the the TV series were also published detailing the band's hilarious adventures and misadventures on the road and at home.


PARTRIDGE FAMILY CD ALBUMS. My long playing albums of the Partridge Family have long since gone to vinyl heaven, but I have replaced them with these new CD reissues.

But my attention span have always been short, so after a year or two, I just lost interest. Besides, there were new TV series that have started catching my fancy--Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie’s Angels and the Man from Atlantis. The Partridge Family was good for just four years, but long enough for me to amass a dizzying array of merchandise and mementos spawned by the hit show. I had coloring books, lunch boxes, board games, comics and TV-tie in books. Not to mention their long playing records and VHS tapes.

THE TELL-ALL BIO BOOK OF DAVID CASSIDY. David wrote his Partridge remembrances in 2000, detailing all the sordid happenings on and off the set. Tabloid news at its sleaziest!

And whatever became of the Partridge kids? Well, 58 year old David Cassidy went solo and enjoyed success as a rock star. He married twice and found later fame in Broadway, starring opposite half-brother Shaun Cassidy in Blood Brothers. He has written a tell-all book about his Partridge Family days, “C’mon Get Happy: Fear and Loathing in the Partridge Bus”.


NOT EXACTLY A DOLL, SUSAN DEY IS. Susan Dey was an aspiring model when she was cast as Laurie in the hit series. She found greater fame in L.A. Law (1986-92) as district attorney Grace Van Owen.Today, she refuses to be interviewed about her Partridge days.

Susan Dey (56 yrs. old) went on to appear in the immensely-popular TV series, L.A. Law but has practically disown the TV series, refusing to be interviewed about it. Child star Danny Bonaduce (49) became a DJ and had many publicized run-ins with the law. Suzanne Crough (45) is a college graduate, married with 2 kids. Jeremy Gelbwalks (46) works for a computer company while Brian Forster (48) became a race car champion.
ALL DOLLED UP FOR FAME. Unused paper doll boxed set of the Partridges. The adults in the show have also moved on to other pursuits. Mom Shirley, now 74, divorced Jack Cassidy after the series ended, and is married to comic Marty Ingels. Dave Madden, who played their befuddled manager, Reuben Kincaid, is retired in Florida and wrote his memoirs in 2007.


THE OFFICIAL GET HAPPY GUIDE BOOK TO AMERICA'S GROOVIEST TV FAMILY. By Joey Green, published in 1994.

This year, I ordered a complete DVD set of The Partridge Family from amazon.com-- just for kicks. I found myself laughing not just at the punchlines but also at the sight of people wearing bellbottoms, psychedelic shirts and lion-cut hairstyles which were the trademarks of our generation. Sad and troubled the lives of the actors may have been years after the series went kaput--on these DVDs, they are one happy, musical bunch again—the Partridge Family!

(11 December 2008)

Monday, January 13, 2014

50. TAKEN FOR A RIDE IN A CAR, CAR!


Your first car is as important as your first job, as unforgettable as your first love, as thrilling as your first kiss. That is probably why I kept this picture of my very first car all these years, bought from my hard-earned lifetime savings.

How can I ever forget this fire engine-red super Beetle which served me for a year or two? (or it could have been less). I found it for sale in a Buy and Sell ad in 1984 that specified even its new upholstery. The 1964 model Volkswagen I thought, was a classic, as my father had a similar one, which he often took for long drives to Baguio. I figured if a Volks was that roadworthy, I might as well choose the same trusty brand for my 1st car!

I paid Php11,000 for this red Volks, and, as I was still an amateur driver then, I asked my art director, Mildred, to accompany me and drive it from Mandaluyong to my Makati office. It sputtered and stuttered and stopped every step of the way, but we did reach our destination. Since I didn't have the courage to drive it all the way to Pampanga, I called my Dad to take it home.

Oh, he was livid when I told him I got a car and he asked me so many technical questions about its past ownership and performance (Have you test-driven it? Has a mechanic checked its motor and the condition of the carburetor, accelerator, tires, etc.? I said, No to all his questions, but I told him it's got new upholstery. I only heard him heave a deep sigh.

Well, once on the Expressway, I heard more sighing from my father as the engine coughed and sputtered, the glass window fell down, and the recapped tires started giving in. We had to stop every now and then to pry loose rubber from the damaged tires. Midway through the trip, the car overheated, rattled and wiggled, so we had to slow down our speed to about 40 kms. per hour. My father's sighs never ceased, not even when we got home.

The super Beetle went straight to the mechanic's shop, and I think I spent more for its repair than what I paid for it. It really never lost its wiggle, but it was still serviceable for taking me from Point A to Point B. I used it to go to the University on weekends where I took a teaching job, and after classes, a few of mys students would pack the Beetle to hitch with me home.

One night though, while driving home, my car just wiggled violently and its headlights flickered and died. I was never so frightened in my life! I thought it was possessed and from that moment, I decided to get rid of it. Luckily, a cousin of mine was remodelling my kitchen, and was glad to take home the red Volks as part of his payment.

Car-less again, I spent the next few days looking for a 2nd hand replacement. But this time, it was my father who looked for a car for me. Few weeks after, he found me a white Saturn-engine, lady-driven 1978 model Lancer. Oh, what a snappy-looking car! I loved it the moment I laid eyes on it. I drove it to Manila, drove it to work, drove it everywhere, and even drove my sister to Church in it on her wedding day..

Everything went well until that one fateful Sunday afternoon when I figured in a 4-car collision along the Expressway. That's another story that caused more sighs. Sigh!.

(5 January 2009)

Monday, January 6, 2014

49. TOTOY & HIS CHILDREN: Rockin' Kapampangans


 Totoy Bato (real name: Rodolfo Laxamana) is Pampanga’s foremost minstrel man, an itinerant singer of bawdy Kapampangan ballads, folk songs and English pop hits reworked with Kapampangan lyrics. A legendary name in the local music scene, Totoy Bato, accompanied only by his guitar, sings just about everything: from his favorite Kapampangan places, about love gone wrong, the loneliness of a Saudi worker to the wayward lives of OFW’s. When he belts a song in a familiar style that harkens back to the “polosas” of yore, Totoy doesn’t just sing the lyrics but also speaks the truth, often sugarcoating it with his seeming flippance and frivolity. That’s what makes his music so appealing, a spoonful of humor does make the medicine go down.

Now a gang of young Kapampangan rockers have taken his songs (including adapted traditional tunes) and given them a contemporary rock beat, in a new CD co-produced by the Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan Studies and Kalalangan Kamaru (19 year old Jason Paul Laxamana, also the CD project director).

I confess, I am not exactly a rock fan—Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody are the only valid rock songs that I can listen to in their entirety. But when I played the RockKapampangan CD, I found myself listening to the entire 16 tracks not once, but twice. I still find some of the songs too loud for comfort, but the arrangements are interestingly fresh and engaging.

 “Sibul ning Arayat” has been given an upbeat reggae makeover (band: 5 Against The Wall), so refreshingly light and lilting. “Istorya nang Raffy Balboa” by Chilimansi, stuck close to the original treatment, but this version has more drama to the narrative. Tibuan’s cover of “Sintang Pangarap” likewise puts a funky spin to this already irreverent song of courtship.

Mental Floss’s “Ing Lugud Ning Indu” has been energized with an effective opening electric guitar riff that leads to a stirring Sampaguita-esque rendition (sorry for my point of reference, my age is showing) of this paean to mothers, as if to tell us that this is how a tribute should be sung—loud and proud.

Nora Aunor Fan’s Club’s “Kaplas”, is my favorite, risqué lyrics notwithstanding (Read the lyric sheet and be shocked). The vocals are genuinely rock but not raucous, with surprising clarity that allows you to go with the flow.

The last track, “Atin Ku Pung Singsing” I thought was almost untouched, perhaps out of respect for tradition. Jason has appended additional lyrics that talk about the lost ring now found : “Ikit kune ing singsing, mitambunan abu/ Ngenin’g ikit kune sinup kuneng tutu/Bang e ne mabating me ku man marayu/Salesen keng sulud kening taliri ku” (I have found the ring, buried under the ash..now that I have regained it, I will now keep it well. So that it will not be lost again even if I travel far, I will wear it properly on my finger..”.)

Totoy Bato need not worry about the future of Kapampangan music—the youth lies in wait to wear his mantle—and inherit the earth. As Robby Tantingco, CKS Director puts it: “If we want culture to survive, it will be on their terms, not ours. And if this is how our cherished songs will end up, so be it. Rock rules!”

(Other tracks: Dayang Kapampangan (fourth clan)/Atsing Rosing (dialago)/Ing Lugud ning Indu (mental floss)/ Katatagan king Pamikalaban (neophytes)/Kasmasaman (t.h.e.m.)/Dalumdum ding Bengi (cyclo)/ Aldo ning Kekaming Kasal (amygdala)/ Aliwa Kang Talaga (mernuts)/ Indung Balayan (silence)/ Saug a Malati (pulse rhythm)/ 40 Aldo (fine time) 

(25 February 2008)