Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Malayang Bayang

Nag-iisa lang ang Bayang Barrios.

70s Bistro packed. Shrieking audience. The artist in her element. The band ready.

She opens her show with Popong Landero’s “Malaya.”

Singlaya ng ihip ng hangin

Singlaya ng agila sa himpapawid

Singlaya ng agos ng batis

There isn’t a song to throw away in her new album, MALAYA, her fifth, a re-birthing to songs of her heroes—Lolita Carbon, Gary Granada, Joey Ayala, Sammy Asuncion, Onie Badiang, and husband Mike Villegas.

She tells a story or two about the songs, saying for example that “Gising na Kaibigan” of Lolita Carbon is a favorite since her high school days. “Alam ko lahat ang kanta niya,” she says.

She tells how she misses singing Joey Ayala’s “Bathala,” that she would exert every effort to follow him in his gigs so she could sing it with him. Bayang profusely thanks Joey for allowing her to include the song in this album; and for adding two more, “Bata Batuta” and “Awit ng Mortal.”

The artist and the song, "Bathala" could be a most solemn prayer one could ever recite, or sing.

The artist and the song, “Bathala” could be a most solemn prayer one could ever recite, or sing.

Gary’s “Iisa” is her favorite, too. Two of my favorite artists sharing the same stage blows me away.

Ang kalayaan mo’y kalayaan ko

Ang digmaan mo’y digmaan ko

"Sa kadulo-dulohan handang sumama sa iyo." — Gary's "Iisa" is romanticism in tune.

“Sa kadulo-dulohan handang sumama sa iyo.” — Gary’s “Iisa” is romanticism in tune.

There are 12 songs in MALAYA, which are Bayang’s expression of her call behind the album—Nasa sa iyo ang kapangyarihan upang maging malaya. Isulong natin ang ating kultura. Mahalin nating ang sariling atin. At iba pa.

To paraphrase Aia de Leon, who indulged the audience with her "Sundo," when Bayang asked her to jam, 'Bayang is gold of the industry.' I agree; she is.

To paraphrase Aia de Leon, who indulged the audience with her “Sundo,” when Bayang asked her to jam, ‘Bayang is gold of the industry.’ I agree; she is.

Thank you, Bayang, for sticking to your dream of having us listen to the culture, the wisdom, and the message, and how wonderfully and pleasingly to our sometimes deaf ears.

“Sana’y maraming ang makarinig.”

Yes, Bayang, we are listening.


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bayang2_nana-copy1You should have a Bayang original, after all Google top search describes her as “one of Philippines’ most beautiful voices.” And aptly. Her latest album, Biyaya (Pilipino for grace), is again a showcase of her powerful but soothing voice, one that cradles you to wakefulness.

I wonder if you have Bayang originals that are not lyrics nor melodies. I do. They greet me with an assortment of colors and lusters. They perk me up when the wee hours at Conspiracy Garden Cafe start to set in, because these little originals begin to shine–when the spirit takes over–and lure me into getting one or more.

I am not referring to her music, but to her other passion–trinkets. Bayang assembles the most beautiful trinkets of wood, stones, steel, brass, and glass beads.


The pieces I got last night were gorgeous. I thought they would stand out in a black dress. But my daughter tells me later, these were perfect for a sleeveless white dress with a square neckline with matching brown leather sandals. We see differently, but this necklace and charm bracelet ensemble would fit any plain apparel, wouldn’t you agree?

Bayang’s original ornamental pieces are so uniquely fit together. Like painting, no two works are alike. So what you see here is mine and mine alone!

Her creations are painfully hard to resist when you see them at the entrance to the foyer of Conspiracy.

Did I hear you want to get some of these beautiful pieces? Pray that Bayang makes serious her little trinket-making occupation. Because I feel that she is just having fun stringing these colorful stones and calling them Mayumi, her first born.

Did I hear Bayang said she would? I hope she does take this hobby of hers to the next level.

Mayumi by Bayang Barrios are on display almost every night at the Conspiracy Garden Cafe on Visayas Avenue in Quezon City. Call +632 9206517 or +632 4532170 to confirm.

Enjoying both originals of Bayang.

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Rockin’ Reggae

I am not sure if it was five years ago when Chong, the famed drummer/percussionist Mr. Tengasantos, told me he was forming a reggae band. He was proud to say its vocalists were to be women. And that’s why they were to be called Reggae Mistress (a contraction of Miss and Tress (for three)–Irene, Chang (the Mrs. Tengasantos), and Ira.

A reggae bar was to be their home. And was their home indeed for four years. And as my friend would always realize to himself about the “transitory-ness” of things, the home had come to an end and the band had to find another home. This time Ten 02 is. Last Thursday was their first gig. Good that Ten 02 is not hard to find: in one of the corners on Timog Avenue in Quezon City where a Shell gas station is.

Here’s a clip. Go and enjoy dancing reggae. It’s therapeutic. Dancing to reggae music isn’t rocket science. Just sway to the beat and you will be well rockin’ reggae.

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Susan, Susan, Babae Ka

I don’t exactly remember how I met Susan and became a little closer to her than just listening from a distance in a folk bar or chancing upon her on a television show or hearing her name in some conversations with artists.

Oh, but I do recall that the first time I really spoke with her was when she shared some of her favorite music collections to my daughter, Diyosa, saying they would fit her voice and style.

And the friendship flourished, which I didn’t imagine to happen as I was only a fan of her compelling voice in that equally compelling women’s rights song, “Babae Ka!” And, much to my joy, she would indulge me with her rendition of my favorite Sergio Mendes’ “Hey, Look at the Sun” when I make a request at her gigs. Thank you, Susan.

Friends have put together a show for her, on 03 July 2008, Thursday, 6-9:30pm, at My Bro’s Mustache on Sct Lozano cor Sct Madrinan in Quezon City. You see, she was diagnosed with cancer of the ovary, stage 1. And friends can do no less–Lolita Carbon, Joey Ayala, Becky Demetillo, Lester Demetillo, Pete Lacaba, Chickoy Pura, Noel Cabangon, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, Joel Saracho, Bagong Dugo, and one special guest–in a mini concert to help her fight it! “Habi at Himig,” her music album in CD will be on sale.

Make no mistake. Ms. Susan Fernandez is bubbly like always. Ah, Susan, babae ka nga!

See you all!

It’s a no-smoking night at My Bro’s on July 3! Yahoo!!!

Original image: http://www.slashfood.com

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Norwegian Wood cover

Here she is again, with a Norwegian Wood cover. This time, without the music stand! And with LJ, a session percussionist.


Video posted by The Wobbly Walrus.

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Diyosa@Conspiracy on Monday

Pardon the giant music stand in front of her, the videographer just didn’t move around a bit to get a better view. Ah, next time, Diwata.

Albeit a fuller view of Diyosa, listen instead to her in this video upload her rendering of The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson. Her voice and playing might just interest you to listen to her on Monday, 16 June 2008 at Conspiracy Garden Cafe. She’ll start her two-set gig at 9:30pm.

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Listen on Monday night

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