In the past, I normally celebrate my birthday for consecutive days or even every weekend of February. But this year was different. My birthday came and went the day before Valentine's Day. I was just coming out of a long recovery from my Radial Nerve Palsy injury on my right hand. So for months, I've been physically deprived of gigging with my bands. And I've been generally avoiding going out to drink as well.
February 13 has been globally dubbed as as "Desperation Day". But my perspective has been limited to getting back my right hand's functionality. I wasn't really celebrating my birthday much, nor was I worried that I didn't have a date on Valentine's.
I joined my bandmates Gigo and JR at the Keg to enjoy their acoustic solo sets on Valentine's Day. I was equally excited to watch the sultry Ansyl Yap perform. Unfortunately, she fell ill on the day and wasn't able to make it. I normally play percs for Gigo's solo acoustic sets. But my right hand didn't have the endurance for a full set with Gigo at the time. I will make it up to him soon now that my hand is nearly full recovered. Below is a video of one of the cover songs he played that night.
Akin Ka Na Lang (Cover)
Gigo and Rodney, who manage the entertainment of the Keg, were gracious enough to allow me to play some of my original handpan compositions. There are a lot of firsts for me with this particular gig.
First time gigging in 3-4 months.
First time gigging with my handpans.
First time gigging solo.
The culmination of all those firsts made me rather nervous for my handpan set. I took a hefty swig from my Jack Coke glass right before I set up my handpans. Below are videos of my entire handpan set. Very short set because that's about all my right hand could handle at the time.
And Then There Were Two
David Kuckhermann Cover
I made mistakes here and there while playing. But it was all part of the experience. I appreciated the support that people gave me during my set. I haven't been nervous about playing anything in front of people for a very long time. And this time, I didn't have a full band to play with. It was just all me. My sister, Jo, and my bandmate JR, were the most supportive that night. You'll notice them cheering and shouting in the background of the videos above.
After my handpan set, JR joked that he couldn't possibly perform right after my set. I knew he was just kidding. But I appreciate the gesture of praising my set in that manner. Below is a video of one of the songs that JR covered that night.
Turn Your Lights Down Low (Cover)
My birthday/Valentine's celebration was not glitzy compared to years past. But somehow I had a smile on my face by the end of the night at the Keg. I was amongst family and friends who knew what I've been going through the past months. They were just happy to see me finally return to music, with my handpans at that.
So cheers to coming out after a long hand injury recovery as the first handpan player in this Philippines. At least I can definitively say that now. I sincerely hope people who were there that night liked my handpan set. Whether or not I perform solo with my handpans again is yet to be determined. We shall see in the weeks and months ahead.
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