This is the time of year I sometimes ask whether everything was all worth it.

In the past it has led to moments of unease. In a way, I still feel uneasy, if only because there is more to be done. Suffice to say, it is not as sad as it once was. I cannot say why right now.

For the moment, I think it matters that I am still here.


Scatterbrain: Why Earthmover Deserves to Open for Deftones Live in Manila


The voice of the people in the local music scene has never been this important, and you can be a part of it.

For the first time, encourages fans to vote which band deserves the most to open for one of the most significant groups in the entire industry to visit our shores,

It is clear that they must open. I’ve seen them and this post argues, most importantly, that the band itself are active fans of the Deftones.

Scatterbrain: Why Earthmover Deserves to Open for Deftones Live in Manila


Amazing news! What Isn’t There will be showing in SAN FRANCISCO on JUNE 8 (SAT) 7:30pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ New Filipino Cinema Series!

Only $10 and director Marie Jamora will be there for a Q&A and for a FREE panel discussion of “What is New Filipino Cinema?” on JUNE 9 (SUN), 3PM!

Buy your tickets HERE:

Curators Joel Shepard and Philbert Dy have an AMAZING selection of films this year: opening with the Ishmael Bernal’s digitally remastered Himala, and featuring: the other Cinemalaya films Kalayaan, Aparisyon, and Diablo; the documentaries Harana and Tundong Magiliw; the critically acclaimed films of Kolossal, Qiyamah, Big Boy, and Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim; and lastly, with Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles! There are short films too!!

More about the New Filipino Series HERE:


There is so much not to say

I was considering writing about the events of yesterday here, and my own impressions of them. Suffice to say that over the space of fourteen hours, I visited a book-related event, an artist’s place (for an interview), a party near a furniture shop (the second in a month), and an album launch. It was definitely draining, but fun.

I will not write about them, though, but only because these will be part of a number of published pieces I am working on after today.

Rather, all I can say is that perhaps after yesterday, as I mentioned to an acquaintance, such days should no longer happen. Fortunately, though, I think these days are quite rare to begin with, and given that I am moving away from one field in particular, it is going to be a more interesting, though slower, time in the next few months.

At last – more notes on a recent play (or Three things 2013/7)

My review of the new play Sa Wakas appeared today on GMA News Online. It was begun at exactly 1 AM, roughly two hours after the play’s preview was finished. This is a new record for me; the fastest one before that was for PETA’s ‘D Wonder Twins of Boac, which was composed the morning after I saw the play.

For previous reportage, here is my piece for, which was written after the press event at Route 196.

However, I noted three things that did not make it to the review. I will address them briefly here.

1. One question that was raised in the run-up to the play was how the very idea of such a play would be received by Sugarfree fans. I have heard some expressions of unease with the idea. I understand that the music of the band still resonates with some people that the thought of them being done by other voices in another context would be difficult to accept. It is a view I would respect; it arises from the very way music forms part of narratives, a point I alluded to in the review and on which I hope to elaborate in another essay after the run is over. But there are two things that would balance this: one is that there are indeed fans who welcome this, and who are open to the possibility; the other is that this musical is as much a Sondheim homage as a Sugarfree one, and the usual theater crowds may be drawn to this for that reason.

2. The other question is whether, ultimately, the choice to take on Merrily We Roll Along‘s story-telling strategy (a choice mimicked by, among others, the romantic comedic film (500) Days of Summer, for which I thank a writer/acquaintance for reminding me) was the right one in the light of perceived audience sophistication or lack thereof. I have nothing to say about the plot itself, and the “mild spoiler” the producers caught is all I will give away. But I will say that it counted that the dialogue bore the weight of sign-posting, giving us clues as to where we are in the flow back in time. I am aware that theater is a dialogue-driven medium. I am sure that some discerning audiences, whether or not they are regular theater-goers, have figured that out.

3. On a less serious note, I am glad that the producers, who are connected to a most interesting cultural development called Fringe Manila, decided to make a few carefully placed plugs for fringe festivals in Act I. I am personally curious about how this idea, which has taken root in cities across the world, will be worked out in the Philippine context. So I look forward to the first Manila Fringe Festival in 2014.

And a bonus item:

4. Today marks not only the Summer Komikon, but also a couple of music events. At Big Bad Wolf on 5th Avenue near the Bonifacio Global City’s entrance, there will be a preview gig for the Summer Peace Festival being held in two Mindanao cities later this month. The other, and perhaps more exciting event for me, will be the monthly Attraction! Reaction! gig at Route 196. All I can say is, it will be an interesting night, Deo volunt.

Have a good weekend, dear readers.


I am writing this as a power outage caused by a blown-up transformer is mercifully keeping us in the dark, when most are asleep. Fortunately, the utility company had said they would send a crew in, but I worry that this summer may be a busy time for them.

A lot of things have happened this past week. I was forced to reconsider, among others, where I would be writing and even if I should be doing it at all. The former has since been resolved, and it goes without saying that the latter still has to receive a clear answer.

I told an acquaintance earlier that it is another time of transition, and I must add now that it is a hopeful time. I hope it will result in something much better than even I expected.

In the meantime, we are in the dark, but it is no longer as dark as it once was.

After all, everything has changed.