Reg Rubio: Sinong tiga Pasig dito? (Who hails from Pasig here?)
About an eighth of the crowd raised their hands.
Reg Rubio: Home court a. TANG-INA NYO!!! (Home court, huh? MOTHER FUCKERS!!!)
Us, the hyped crowd shouted: TANG-INA MO RIN!!! (YEAH, MOTHER FUCKER!!!)
That’s how it was when I attended the Red Horse Muziklaban a year ago. All are rowdy. Most are in black signature rock shirts. A lot are intoxicated (me included of course!), with nil inhibitions, a lot dancing the muthafuckin’ dance and the delicious loud music that we were all possessed with.
It was my first time to attend such event. But despite that I’m surrounded by complete strangers, I felt that familiar feeling a man would have for his band of brothers. Like all that gathered there were my long-lost brothers. It’s truly strange but they all look familiar. Maybe because it’s the same rock and roll that fathered us and that fast-paced, deafening music was our common lullaby that forged our similar identities.
Then the heart-pounding music began. I was jumping, I was growling, I was shouting at the top of my lungs, I was raising my fist with a lit cigarette in between my fingers. There were no prying eyes to ridicule or stop me. No fear of judgement. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to get lost to the music which struck a very familiar chord in me. It’s like finding a long-lost piece of myself and my soul, indispensable in completing the unfinished puzzle before me.
I felt free.
All the frustrations and rage that was bottled up inside me from time immemorial that reached horrifying proportions exploded into a one massive meltdown.
I was reduced to ashes.
And yet, borne out of the ashes I came out singing, screaming, shouting, head banging and dancing to the beat of the fast-paced rhythm with all inhibitions, fear and doubt hastily evaporating with every pound of the drums, scream of the lead guitars and the liberating growls. No longer am I compelled to act like everyone else in the outside world because here, I found that piece of myself along with the courage to live it. No I’m not alone, I have brothers and sisters, I have a family there who welcomed me with arms wide open and a liter of ice-cold Redhorse beer.
Suddenly I was meeting life’s stare head-on with the unwavering eyes of a beast ready to rock the moment and write my own rock and roll story.
My throat itched like it was just sandblasted. But what the hell, I was home!
And though the scene may seem nothing but total chaos, I felt something I never felt in a long time – I was home. There was this unfathomable peace that settled in my soul amidst the chaotic environment. I was fucking home!
I am a son of rock and roll!
The realization was too much. My emotions were welling up, like a wall of tsunami only God can avert.
I was reduced to tears thinking I’ve come home. No I’m not a nomad nor a vagabond in this life because I have a home. Fuck, this is my home. Rock and roll is my home. Yes, I am finally home!
If you’ve never been into a lovely mayhem before, you can check this video. This is Slapshock’s “Ngayon Na” the last piece played by that awesome, awesome band. ml/!!!!
You might also want to view some photos. You can have a peek here in Niña Sandejas’ blog:
All love, all rock and roll,
A man ordering cocktail at a local bar…
Do you have anything Russian, has just the right bang and, a perfect burning sensation?
Bartender: Sure do. Try our Molotov cocktails…
Akala ko noon ay tuluyan ka ng nawala,
Pero bakit nagbabalik ka ngayon sa katauhan niya?
Sa tuwing siya’y nakikita ko
Kawangis mong bulaklak na masamyo
Sabihin mo, nais kong mapagtanto
Siya at ikaw kaya’y magsingbango?
Iyong mga titig sa kanyang balintataw ay aking tanaw
Pisngi nyong malulusog, sa damdamin ko’y pumupukaw
Tulad mo, mga labi niya’y masarap titigan
Gaya mo rin kaya siyang kaysarap halikan?
Larawan siya ng buong katapangan
Kaloob niya’y masidhing pagmamahalan
At kanyang mga mata, kung tumitig ay maalab na nangungusap
Akala ko noon ay tuluyan ka ng nawala,
Pero bakit nagbabalik ka ngayon sa katauhan niya?
Siyang tunay mga pre.
Awa ng Dios e hindi naman ako yung nauutusan bumuhat ng semento, maghukay ng pundasyon, magpalitada, at bumaluktot ng bakal. Kahit papano e ako na yung nagu-utos sa foreman. Ganun pa man ay construction worker parin na matatawag ang mga nagtatrabaho sa construction area kesehudang structural engineer ka man, project engineer, project architect, o operator ng backhoe.
Mahirap sa site lalo na kapag civil contractor ka. Dapat e para kang ATV na sala sa putik at alikabok, araw at ulan, sa patag o rolling hills.
Dati kasi noong bata pa akong enhinyero e naranasan ko ang hirap ng nasa construction site (tang-ina eto nanaman tayo. Pero sige na nga total sa awa naman ng Dios e 10 taon na akong enhinyero ngayon.) Sobrang stressful para sakin ang mga unang taon ko bilang enhinyero. Pagkamalas malas nga lang at na-stress at pumangit ako nung mga panahong pilit akong nagpapapogi – umitim at naging kutis-bayag ang balat ko at pumayat ako ng todo.
Pero buti nalang ngayon at structural designer na ako at wala na ako sa construction site. Ngunit kahit naging mahirap para sakin ang pagiging site engineer e marami naman akong naging nakakatuwang karanasan:
Madaling araw. Byaheng Balara hanggang sa harap ng SM Marikina. Para malabanan ang antok ay sumasabay ako sa mga dumptruck namin na may kargang lupang panambak mula sa hinuhukay namin sa project site. Sa pagiging pahinante ko rin unang narating ang Litex at Tungko.
Para mautusan mo ang tower crane operator habang nasa taas siya ay kelangan mong matutunan mag-rigger. Sign language siya, gamit ang dalawang kamay. Di mo siya pwedeng duru-duruin o pakyuhin kapag inis na inis ka dahil pwede ka niyang bagsakan ng kung anong buhat buhat niya.
Kung anong taas ng project, ay dapat mas mataas ang tower crane. Para kang nasa tuktok ng mundo. Kadalasan e tuwing lunch break at uwian tuwing hapon lang nakakababa ang mga tower crane operator kaya madalas ay may baon na silang pagkain at bote para gawing ihian. Malas lang niya kapag natatae siya dahil walang inodoro sa taas.
Buti nalang at hindi ito nakakatuyo ng utak gaya ng solvents. May side effect nga lang: nakakagutom.
Kung gusto mong respetuhin ka sa construction site e kelangan alam mo magmura ng tama. Not too harsh but not too soft. Kelangan tumutulak ka at bumabatak ka at the same time.
Hiyang-hiya ako sa sarili ko nun pero ngayon e nangingisi nalang ako tuwing maaalala ko. Panggabi ang pasok ko nun gawa nung magdamag na operation namin. Napapansin ng project manager ko tuwing umaga na maayos ang bed sa loob ng clinic. Kaya nung isang araw na nagpang-abot kami e tinanong niya ako sa gitna ng ibang staff.
“Natutulog ka ba?” tanong niya sakin.
“Hindi sir” todo tanggi ako.
“E san ka natutulog?” tanong niya ulit.
“Sa bed sir.”
Minsan talaga e dumadating ang katangahan sa perpektong pagkakataon.
Pero alam nyo ba na ang mga laborer sa construction ang mga tunay na pinagpala at hindi mga nasa Vatican? Totoo. Sila ang mga pinagpala, pinaghukay, pinaghalo ng semento…
Detachment is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you. – Ali ibn abi Talib
How often do we feel enslaved by our own desires and our own created circles?
Oftentimes we decide for ourselves what we want to do and so we tend to hate or resent people telling us to do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that yadda yadda. And so we do things to satisfy ourselves. “It’s my freakin’ life” we’d say. And then we do it once more. And then again. And then again and again. Feels good to be free, to do what you want.
And then for some unknown reason something’s gone wrong. It gratifies yes, everything’s just perfect but something just doesn’t seem right and it’s not conscience.
Why, what’s freakin’ wrong?
I’m a regular victim of this as well.
I’m happy when I’m able to publish my thoughts in this blog. Anything in fact. But after that there is this anti-climactic effect of feeling light-headed and bored to death. I craved too much. I’ve attached myself too much to writing that I’ve given it some degree of control over me to dictate what I want do and what I should do. It leaves me almost lifeless in effect.
When I’m in a deep level of flow while at work, my mind is intensely focused on the present. It’s like giving it all in one shot without anything left for me. It’s both gratifying and satisfying doing the job you love, don’t get me wrong. But still when I’m so into it I tend to forget everything else – all because I’ve attached myself too much to my work and to the label that I am a structural engineer.
The same goes with almost everything else – taking care of the kids, meeting the needs of my wife, hanging out with friends. Everything when done within a prolonged period of time with perfect predictability and with a heavy and steady investment of one’s self is guaranteed to throw everything off balance.
I’m not into a formal meditation class but I believe in its beneficial effects to the mind and body. My version of meditation is to detach myself from the situation I am in. This took a lot of practice. Never was and never is easy and I’m still in the process of learning how to master it but it greatly helped me regain my equilibrium.
So how does this self-detachment look like to me and how do I actually do this?
That’s why there are certain occasions when I need time talking to myself instead of talking to somebody else even friends because it becomes another drag, another conversation to maintain and another chance to inflict further damage to my already jumbled mind.
It’s the same space that my wife and I give each other. We both appreciate each other’s gift of silence and the opportunity to meditate. It’s during those times that I am able to talk to myself, to charge, debrief myself, to settle the dust in order to have a clearer vision of what’s up ahead.
So if you feel the need to momentarily detach yourself from your current state for a few hours or seconds to regain your equilibrium, please do so. Don’t push yourself to talk to anyone if you think you need that time alone because it will do more harm than good. Trust me, I know from experience.
Detach yourself from yourself from time to time. Detaching yourself from the grind of everyday life will bring you balance and inner peace. And that inner peace and equilibrium is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and the people you love and care about.
Wishing you’d find that balance that you’re looking for.
I am not a frustrated singer or song writer, it’s just that I tried and failed to make it to the mainstream thus leaving me frustrated (whatever!).
I am not a frustrated singer or song writer, it’s just that I tried and failed to make it to the mainstream thus leaving me frustrated (whatever!). Well ok that’s very much lofty. I made a couple of compositions once in high school, complete with lyrics, tune and guitar chords. One was about a man-hater and the other, a woman with the name Shamir who was, to me was a man-hater, a very good one at that.
Never made any additions though, because I found my first compositions rather boring, too cheesy and guaranteed not to make it to mainstream. I wanted to be famous of course, but the main reason of my writing my own compositions is to come up with songs which nobody else knows, something I can call my own.
Now, time isn’t as permissive as it used to be. I can still write yes, but to compose and make music, am not too sure if I can still afford that.
Nonetheless, I’d still continue with my songs whether the tune will find its way in them or not.
The pieces of me that are written in here might be made to a popular song someday or it might just be buried in time, completely forgotten or unknown.
This is for you, anyone who can relate to the angst, absurdity, mundaneness, and exclamation points of life.
We sing with different tunes, but these are our common lyrics…
0900 Hours. 05-17-14. NLEX
Currently on a bus bound to a yet unknown beach resort. ‘Twas our company outing. Early on, I’ve had second thoughts wether I’d enjoy the Amazing-Race themed adventure. I persisted anyway without giving in to my doubts. With 20,000 Php (± 450 US$) at stake divided by 40 equals Php 500 each, not bad!
It’s a good thing a nice young lady took over the reins of the yellow team. It so seemed that everyone has this genuine wanting to be good and nice to one another. Everybody just wants to have fun without being hostile and bossing anyone. I sensed myself giving a temporary sigh of relief from the aristocratic atmosphere. It’s nice to think also that we are being led by a teammate rather than a boss who views his teammates as competitors. I knew that we as a group have chosen well.
The road is good and straight, the air filled with dirt, and the day is getting hotter by the minute. Would have been very good if I can still listen to Jam88.3 WRXP but the signal is lost and the bus driver is competing with his stereo. Oh well…
We stopped by a church for a challenge which is to memorize a Bible verse of John 3:16 in Spanish. We won alright. Next challenge is to make ‘halo-halo’ and sell it to the local residents. We’re competing with other teams so it isn’t without pressure. We finished first again, thanks to my crush who prepared and mixed all the ingredients. I just wished we could have shared in a date what she has made.
It was scorching hot as we arrived at our destination. At least the food is good (almost any food is good when you’re starving!). What’s not so good is the queuing, an endless line in which there seems to be a funeral procession up ahead.
Familiar faces started to emerge. Damn I missed these babes! Tiny, WOW TINY! Uhmm, she seemed to have looked a lot older than she was before. She’s still an eyeful though. The girl in the orange skirt! Really glad that she’s able to attend the outing. The arms and shoulders were no longer macho except for the hips and legs. Stressed I presume. Mary, she still has that sweet face and petite body. She still looks fabulous and grand.
How I wish I could’ve taken them all to a ballroom for a romantic dance number.
The final challenge to determine who will emerge as victor of the ‘amazing race’ is finished. Know what? We won the grand price of Php 20,000! The planets mystically aligned that day, not to put an end to the planet’s history but to fulfill the destiny of the ‘yellow race’. As per the prophecy, the right persons were chosen for their respective roles. Who would have known that it would be us, with me, who didn’t even think of it possible? I didn’t mean to be cynical of our capabilities and chances but who would’ve known? Each of the teams competing is focused on the same goal. Thanks to our individual abilities, and to our leader who handled the team nice and easy and assumed the position with class and perfect strategy.
The day had been a long one. I still wasn’t touched by seawater, and I have no plans of swimming at all. I am a bit uneasy about my one pack, so I decided that I’d grow six of them first before I’d have the guts to take my shirt off and swim and fish for a chick. I just wanted to sing and get drunk. Drink and sing and stare at glorious chick behinds and twinkling hot legs that pass me by. But first I’m gonna have to chow. The venue is at seaside. With dim candle lights, the place is dark, romantic and hot – romantic it is and the darkness is perfect if you have a date; hot because it’s humid with little or no air at all. After downing the food with water and juice, all of us stared at nothingness, wishing for some hot babe to sit in our midst. Just wishing. Now what?
Thankfully, I need not employ my negotiation skills to an old chum and a couple of newbies to leave and head for the videoke. They may have been itching to sing and drink as well.
We felt a bit insecure at first when we heard somebody else singing, obviously the first to arrive and take a hold of the mic. We were still sober then. When the pangs of the liquor started to numb our senses, we knew it was time to enjoy – with whatever we got, either like professional singers or wannabees just like us. I know it’s kind of nerdy enjoying the night that way, but we didn’t care.
We managed to attract a number of audiences who were perhaps empowered and entertained by our carousing. Then the screen flashed and we saw “Mahal Kita” by Renz Verano. “Oh really?!” I told myself. This is going to be a jukebox tripping. True enough, he did more than justice to the song that we shouted for more, hoping that he’d sing “Remember Me” from the same artist. Beer tasted sweeter as soberness drifted farther and farther from us.
What caught our attention is a beautiful lady from the admin. She was wearing this flowery one piece summer dress. When she first sang Ironic, we were impressed, gladly giving her our applause and shouts of admiration for the beautiful lady. When she sang Just Like A Pill, we were completely blown away, 20% of which is because of intoxication and the remaining 80% was our elation that a charming lady came to grace our revelry with her voice and her presence.
Too bad that she’s got to leave and so do we. (She won the contest for the best Hula-dressed lady which we have known only through photos the following Monday.)
I still feel nostalgic that I can’t help but sing the song “Mahal Kita” even 5 days after. And, I truly miss Miss Ironic, I hope I will hear her sing once again…
0000 Hours up to 1300 Hours of the following day
Comprised of sleeping, eating, and preparations to go home. I never wanted to take part anymore on the banana boat ride or the swimming or the games. I was just aching to go home, fast and soon. If you think it’s so boring how I spent the outing, I’m yawning at this very instance.
If you were able to reach this part, well thank you. The upper part is like shaking off of rust. And after a lengthy and worthless introduction, I’m now able to get down to business to convey what I really wanted to say (clue: none of the above).
“Vanity, vanity, everything is vanity…” What is there to gain after the ‘chasing of the wind’? Well I got to know a few new people. And I saw once again the importance of enjoying the moment even when you’re bored to death, just like when ‘Renz Verano’ came back to the limelight in our midst. He didn’t care at all, and he just sang and enjoyed himself and it was all that mattered to him. We sure do appreciated him for that. He did not apologize for who he was or for what he’ll sing, instead he just enjoyed it and in the process entertained us as well.
The most important thing perhaps is when our paths crossed again with that old chum, whom I was so angry at before because of his arrogance and bloated ego. He is one of the most intelligent people that I have met, coming from the country’s top school with the making of a future pillar of structural engineers with his wit and deep understanding of technical things. He labeled me ‘slow’ once just like what his boss did to me before. Oh how I hated him! I hoped never to see him again but just like ageing, I guess it’s inevitable. We have the same profession, and the probability of seeing each other’s faces somewhere sometime in the workplace are high.
Now I have come to realize that we have something parallel: his girlfriend and my wife’s strong personalities. I used to share to him how I met a woman who have a will and personality much stronger than iron. And that these women can control the most uncontrollable personalities in the world; men who wouldn’t conform to the world; people who defines the world in different terms, and men who would rather die than to be under rule (ok, I was just exaggerating all that much). He would have told it to his schoolmates, or his other friends whom he might not have trouble approaching. But he was telling us about his girlfriend, that kind of personal stuff to us, the underdogs, and not to others. And it is because, in his own words “…this is our common ground.”
Come to think of it. I hated him and I hated him all that much and yet we’re bounded by the reality that we share a common fate being with two somewhat dominating women who, almost at will can demand submission without feeling threatened with her actions.
“Everybody deserves a second chance, including yourself” my wife used to tell me and that’s just what I did unaware. It does feel good reconciling with someone and forgiving if not completely nullifying all the transgressions. He have matured a lot, and so do I. Maturity, then I figured, must be two-way for both parties, and not just for the one perceived to have the lack of it. He have matured enough to respect his fellow despite of the latter’s ‘slower’ abilities and cognition. I have matured enough as well to get the f*ck over it and move on to a new chapter of friendship, without the hassle and discomfort of bringing up everything from the past, over and over and over again. It’s always a nice feeling burying all the guilt, hatred and animosity in exchange of peace of mind and the chance to reboot one’s self to start anew.
He’s still smart as hell and I know that he’ll undoubtedly leave a mark in the professional field someday and I admit I may not be able to match his intelligence. And I thought that with just a few more years to complete the brewing of his maturity, he’ll be a complete package professionally.
I was just kind of depressed when I used the same meter stick I used to gage him. I don’t have his intelligence on technical matters. I learn things in a longer time span not after it is read just like him. It takes longer for me to digest. But I also wanted to leave a mark on our professional field. I also wanted to be labeled as intelligent just like him. I also wanted to be looked up upon by others.
I just comforted myself by the thought that I’d carve my own unique legacy in the technical field, the arts and my family that I alone will ever achieve.
But first, I’ve got to practice and practice and practice so that I’ll be able to gain mastery and acquire excellence:
“Mahal kita yan ay alam mo na,
Wag kang mag-iisip
Na ako ay nagbago na sa’yo
Di ko magagawa
Kung nagkulang man ako,
Ako’y patawarin mo,
Mahal ko…(repeat 2 times ‘till fade)”
At least there’s unlimited juice.
It was our department’s night out on a buffet. The food is good, the grilling of raw meat on your dining table is cool.
Just no booze. But at least, juice and soft drinks are unlimited (you got the sarcasm?)…
Weeks earlier, we got to practice democracy when we’re asked to choose between buffet and the one with booze, live band, and singers on miniskirts. I thought the one with the booze will prevail because, first, who would want to engage in a boring eating spree? Second, it’s the only “good time” that I know.
The votes were casted and it was landslide. Having a lot of women in the office who might have exercised their might in their numbers ended us somewhere just filling our guts of every food we can get into it.
There were no other entertainment save from chit-chat, and the part of the raffle of gift cheque amounting to Php 1000, Php 2000, Php 5000, and Php 10000. I got my hopes too high wishing I could take the Php10000 worth cheque and give it to my wife. Tough luck. I’ve had a full gut anyway, so I presumed it’s still ok.
So how did I pass time while grilling, sipping, and eating? I’m not much of a talker so I used my talent of listening and note-taking. Thankfully, we had 3 old-timers on our table so you would have guessed what our conversations were about – White Castle Whisky models then and now, overloaded railway systems, Bible-whiz inmates, mini scooters for 500 dirham, jogging in Dubai and Qatar, water + sugar + yeast = improvised fermented drink, sold fruits at roadside, provincial main roads with 360-degree curves, broken car cooling system – most of which, we the younger generation could not even stay long in a topic. Yeah we pitched in every now and then hoping we would “connect” with the conversation and sound intelligent.
As the evening wears on, I felt my batteries almost out and I need to recharge, fast. I felt weariness slowly creeping in, taking over me. I am growing weary wearing a smile for the entire duration for fear of being labeled as the grouch or the party-pooper. I was getting bored and out-of-place in the ruckus. I wouldn’t be writing this if I had been comfortable with the chattering of department-mates.
I have always preferred solitude over company. But if I have a bunch of people around me, (I think) it wouldn’t matter at all. Although I must admit that there are times when I feel so lonely in the midst of a known company of people. I feel envious watching same group of people convoking with the same company, probably exchanging the same old stories over and over again. Well, this is a free country. Anybody gets to choose who he/she wants to be with, including the preference to keep out anyone who can’t strike the same string that they do. This is especially true during department night-outs, Christmas parties and company outings that it makes me dread the said affairs.
It makes me miss my friends during college. I just can’t seem to find a new set of them with new people.
I’m not the total outcast though. I have a few who are willing to be with me for company. It’s really good to laugh out loud once in a while with a good crowd.
And thankfully, it was soon over and I’m goin’ home. At least my tummy’s ok, I have a new story to tell, and the juice and soft drinks were unlimited…