However, quite a few people have been bugging me to post something because everytime they keep checking back, there's nothing new posted. So I will make an effort to post about some stuff this weekend that has happened while I was in blogging haitus. This is the first of a few posts I plan to put up.
"Wazzup May Nagaz?!?" is the tag line for the whole gig/trip we took to Naga the weekend before last weekend. Although we've gone on gig trips to Naga 3 times over in the past, this gig was definitely unique. To celebrate Frennie's birthday, we brought in 5 bands from Manila. And e. Each of the bands performance, I'll briefly touch on as this post progresses. The bands are as follows:
Milagros DanceHall Collective
Each band I absolutely appreciate in terms of their musicality and artistry. So this gig trip was definitely going to be a form of pleasurable audio coitus.
I took a leave from work because we were going to leave at an early time than previously planned. I was getting really tense and stressed out at work during the week. So that Friday leave was definitely a good idea. It allowed me to unwind a little before heading off to the bus station to catch our tour bus to Naga.
Roland, a good friend of mine from highschool and sound engineer extroardinaire, came over to my place. We essentially hired him to do all the sound teching for the gig. He was nice enough to help me lug all my percussion gear over to Briggs' place. And then from there we drove up to the Isarog bus line near Araneta Colliseum.
Frennie is awesome. She was able to spin up a number of sponsors in order to get us nice transportation and accomodations for us. The first of which is reserving an entire tour bus for the bands to ride in for the long trip. Not all the bands rode the bus, some flew in by plane, and some followed in Briggs' car because they had a gig that night
The bus is of "deluxe tour bus" standards, with a built-in bathroom, and an "in-flight movie". Everybody on the bus was shaking their heads at the fact that they didn't bring any DVDs to watch since there were screens on the bus to ensure anybody riding can view movies properly. "Kahit soft-porn man lang. Para medyo interesting kahit half-asleep" said LC, the vocalist/guitarist of Reklamo. We were all crazy to some degree. I think that's why all the bands got along with each other. LOL!
Milagros DanceHall Collective sure love their alcohol. They gave us an inkling of the amount of alcohol we would drink over the weekend, by passing around a bottle of Emperador. Taking numerous swigs from that Emperador bottle sure made even the corniest of movies seem enjoyable. Since no one brought any DVDs to watch, we had to contend with what the bus driver had onboard. "The Guardian" starring Kevin Costner, and "Dude Where's My Car?" dude, was alright. Oh how alcohol can have this uncanny ability to make unbearable things seem interesting. "I am a rescue swimmer sir! When the army and navy docks pulls back, we go in sir!"
We only had a few stop-overs. Some stop-overs involved the bus driver having a cigarette. Another involved eating at McDonald's next to a make-shift bar with some showband playing tunes by Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas. We were all joking to each other that this was already the gig venue and that we should go in a set-up. LOL! Damn showband, those songs LSS'ed me for the next hour or so after eating in McDonald's.
Five or six hours later, we finally arrived in Naga. As we got off the bus and stretched our legs out, we were surprised that there was an immense amount of people parading/in procession. We joked to each other that this was our welcoming committee. But then we quickly realized that since it is fiesta time in Naga, that this was only part of their festivities.
The hotal Frennie put us up in was actually previously just a large house/property owned by an expat. He decided to add a 3rd floor and a number of rooms to turn it into a hotel. It just recently opened as a hotel a few months ago, so all the facilities and the rooms were still brand new.
After settling, we all decided to get some sleep despite passing out for most of the bus ride on the way to Naga. It was around 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM at the time, so we needed to get a little more sleep or we'll end up going unconcious early at the gig itself.
When we woke up, the place had a nice upscale bed-and-breakfast feel. You would share a large dinning table with other guests. But surprisingly it didn't feel all that intrusive at all. I had a chance to look around the hotel and liked the garden around the place.
It was so odd to see an Indian Sikh temple from the front of the hotel. I didn't think that kind of religion would reach this far into the Philippines. Apparently, it's possible to reach this far after all.
We then proceeded to a food court because one of the gig sponsors wanted to treat us to food as part of their sponsorship. Grill Plus is the name of the sponsor as far as I remember (This isn't me trying to plug a sponsor in this post by the way).
I have to say the food was goooood. Check out the "before" and "after" shots I took of the food we partook for lunch at Grill Plus. You can really tell that we're just a bunch of "patay gutom" freaks.
After eating a hearty meal, we then proceeded to the Ateneo de Naga campus. The radio station that all 5 Manila bands were supposed to do a radio interview was located within the campus. The station was once just a college campus station. But then grew to become a commercial radio station.
The rest of my bandmates were too lazy to do the radio interview since the luster of a radio interview faded since we've done this already from a previous Naga gig trip. They just automatically voted me to be the spoke person for the band for the Nth time. So I ended up being the only one representing the band while the rest of my bandmates headed out to a studio to practice. Apparently my bandmates were listening to me over the radio the whole time. I think I did okay in the interview. At least I hope I did.
They passed by for me after the radio interview and we then proceeded to the practice studio. Practice was fun. We got the opportunity to clean up the songs that we planned on playing that night.
But of course, the "PG" people that we all were (this includes all the other Manila bands by the way), we stormed through the food like we haven't eaten a single thing for days. It's also good to eat in Naga. The food is guarranteed to be good. And you are left feeling generally content (and very bloated) after each meal over there.
It's 2:23 AM in the morning right now and this post is getting way too long. I'm starting to get Dekaron withdrawal symptoms. So I'll end here for now and continue the story in another post.
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