Sunday, October 11, 2009

Global Mala Project 2009

It's been a while since this event.  So I'll try my best to remember what happened that day as best as I can given that I turn my brain off during weekends.  LOL!

My good friends Dave and Donna invited me to another drumming workshop.  This time it was part of a whole Yoga/Wellness event called Global Mala Project.  This year's Global Mala Project was on the top floor of Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street.  Dave and Donna warned me that there was no budget this time.  I just responded that I would've helped facilitate the last time for free.  I just want the opportunity to be a part of the Drum Jam Workshop group once again.

As I entered the event area, I initially felt weirded out because of all the Yoga buffs all over the place.  I felt like the unhealthiest person around.  LOL!

There was a whole slew of meditative and wellness activities lined up for the entire day until the evening.  The activities of the event were running late.  So we had to wait a while until it was our turn to give a workshop.

I was excited to use my 14 inch fiberglass Pearl djembe once again.  That drum doesn't see a lot of action these days.  I'm sure my baby is feeling neglected.  LOL!

I was glad to see Pepoy again.  That guy is something else on percussions.  And to think he's better at playing a drum kit than a djembe.  We talked for a bit about what's been going on in terms of music for ourselves.  There's a slight possibility I might've found the replacement drummer for SunDownMuse.  But we'll see how that goes depending on where my bandmates' heads are with SunDownMuse.

The drumming workshop we gave was one of many activities for the day.  So it was expected that we wouldn't have a lot of people participating.  We had a healthy number given that we had a smaller team of facilitators.

Given that we had a truncated time period for the workshop, Dave decided to just teach only 2 out of the 5 rhythms that we normally teach.  The participants picked up the drumming method rather quickly. And soon after, the whole group found themselves jamming with the Planet Zips workshop that was happening at the same time.  That was fun.  Percussions and Zips really mesh well together.

Dave was invited by Punnu Wasu to jam with him during their Kirtan chanting session later that day.  And Dave asked me if I wanted to join them as well.  So I tagged along with Dave and Donna to grab a late lunch first before the Kirtan session.

I saw some of my cousins at the event surprisingly.  Polly had every intetion to join the event it seems.  Her husband, my cousin Jerome and his wife just hung around High Street while waiting for her.

When we got back to Fully Booked, CJ was there to complete the Kirtan dynamic duo with Punnu.  I dug CJ's curvey pointed shoes because it really suited his white indian garb.  Well he is indian, of course his shoes would suit him.  LOL!

I haven't seen Punnu in the longest time.  The last few times I saw him were at gigs where Nityalilla was also playing.  Punnu was part of the band back then.  It was really nice to see him again.  Very pleasent guy.

Punnu was wielding some kind of Harmonium instrument, while CJ whipped out his ultra cool Tablas.  I always wanted to learn how to play the tablas.  But the last time I inquired about it.  I was required to spend an entire year at the instructor's house.  Apparently, learning tablas before entailed that you immerse yourself in the culture that surrounds the instrument.  Dave mentioned that that's not the case anymore and that you can have a pair of tablas made and get lessons with relative ease rather than a year long committment.  I forgot to ask CJ and Punnu about it.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll run into them again some time.

I actually didn't know what to expect from the Kirtan session.  Kirtan is plain and simply a chanting form of meditation.  Punnu handed out sheets of paper with the chants already laid out for the participants to chant along.  The flower petals that Teresa Herera (one of the organizers of the event) showered around our area was a nice touch actually.

The session as a whole was quite relaxing.  It was nice to just clear your mind and focus on the chants reverberating everywhere.

After the session, Dave and I showed our great appreciation to Punnu and CJ for letting us jam with them.  And they likewise showed an equal appreciation for us joining them.  CJ mentioned that we should definitely jam more often.  We'll definitely do that sometime once Dave has some free time.

Teresa approached us as well, thanking us for joining the Global Mala Project event.  She was going to hold a Trance Dance workshop later that night, and invited us to jam with her.  But we were all beat, and Dave and Donna needed to bring their daughter home to rest.

I helped Dave load up all the gear that he brought into his car.  Dave apologized that he couldn't really give me a ride home given that they have a full car and really needed to bring their daughter home already.  There was nothing really to apologize for.  I work around the area.  So it's not like I didn't know how to get myself home.  I took a cab home and literally passed out for a few hours.  Not bad for what usually would be a boring Saturday afternoon for me couped up at my place.  Not bad at all.

Check out Global Mala Project Manila's Multiply page at, and our drumming workshop group, Drum Jam, at

Photo credit goes to the Global Mala Project group and Fully Booked.


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