In memoriam.

Quite a number of well-known personalities have passed on since the beginning of 2019. Three of them have etched a mark to my life as a fangirl.

In a shocking development, Razorback drummer Brian Velasco took his own life on January 16, 2019. I have fond memories of Brian way back my bandstalker days from 2001 to 2005. As a regular of gigs during that era, I’ve rubbed elbows with Brian and the rest of Razorback practically on a regular basis. I’ve shared beers with some of their members until the wee hours of the morning. Looking back, it was Razorback who first believed in my skills as a photographer. I was just a beginner back then, taking photos of not just The Dawn but any band that took the stage in the gigs and events I went to. Kevin of Razorback loved the idea of having someone documenting their gigs the way I did for The Dawn. It came to a point when he would text me their gig schedule just so I could come and document it for them through my photos. This is why I was able to amass a number of pics of Razorback and their side bands – and naturally, Brian – throughout my stint as a band stalker, some of which I immortalized on the internet through this post that I made in February 2006 specifically about Brian Velasco.

Brian and I were not particularly close, but that memory of him greeting me first at a party even if we were never formally introduced to each other is one of those things that will be etched in my mind and heart forever.


A couple of days ago, another legend of OPM passed on: the one and only, Joey “Pepe” Smith.

Being in the Pinoy rock scene for almost five years, you can say that I’ve had several up-close moments with Mr. Rakenrol, himself. I didn’t get to meet him personally – you can pretty much guess why – but being a Pinoy rock fan within close proximity of a legend several times is certainly one for the books. Just witnessing him perform in the flesh is more than enough.

I now regret not seeing that gig Pepe Smith had with The Dawn in late 2017 at a bar in Bulacan.


Today, we receive news that one of the best vocalists in the world, Mr. James Ingram, has succumbed to brain cancer. :sad:

I had a close encounter with Mr. Ingram way back in 1997 (if I remember correctly). I was assigned to a special audit engagement at one of the government offices in Mandaluyong area. To get home, I passed by SM Megamall every day. In one of those days, James Ingram had an autograph signing session at Megamall. I’m not exactly an avid fan but James Ingram is James Ingram, so I quickly bought a copy of his album The Power of Great Music (in cassette at the time) and lined up to get it signed. I did have it signed, but not before witnessing what happened to the person before me. The woman had the guts to extend her hand to Mr. Ingram for a handshake, but his security people were quick to grab her arm and wave her off. I heard them saying something along the likes of, “oh hell no, you can’t do that” and they were talking with James about these fans trying to one up them as if they can get away with it. In my mind I was thinking, “dude, we can understand English around here.” :neutral: Needless to say, when my turn came, I just handed him the tape to sign and walked out of there as fast as I could.

Yup, not a very good memory. But as I said, James Ingram is James Ingram. Not many people get that kind of up-close experience with an internationally renowned celebrity.

(Oh look at Agent P, not bitching and, instead, justifying an experience with a rude celebrity. What the heck just happened? :lol: I guess I’m just giving him a break, since he’s already passed on.)

Side note: Someone on Twitter said that at some point, all of us had an, “I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough” moment. For me and some of my Rain friends, it’s an “I did my VEST” moment. :hihihi: It’s quite funny reminiscing that at one point in our lives, we would listen to Just Once and think that it was James Ingram who was singing it all wrong. :lmao:


Rest in Peace, Brian, Sir Pepe and Mr. Ingram. Thank you for the music.


Roller coaster.

Aftermath: Alden Richards and Ely Buendia – One Phenomenal Night
Island Cove Resort and Hotel – 28 October 2016

Friday night has got to be the craziest night, ever. If there was a roller coaster of emotions, that night was it.
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From picks to chopsticks.

Atsushi Matsuura was a guitarist for the legendary Filipino rock band The Dawn. If you know the song “Salamat”, he was the guitarist there. He’s also the subject of my most favorite photo from when I was his band’s official stalker, when I had just started to get interested in photography and my tool of choice was a tiny Casio 1.8MP digital camera (don’t laugh; it was THE cool gadget at the time).


But aside from being a musician/rock star, I’ve known Atsushi as a foodie, even back when the word ‘foodie’ was not part of our social media vocabulary. My food knowledge became broader after hanging out with him and his band clique. Prior to meeting Atsushi, I have never imagined snacking on asparagus spears dipped in Japanese mayo spiked with wasabi powder. (Actually, prior to meeting Atsushi, I thought the correct term was ‘wasabe’. :boinkself: ) It was his mom who taught me the difference between soup and stew, way before I even saw Lee Young Jae complaining about Han Ji Eun’s ‘multiplayer’ soup in Full House. Atsushi is actually the one who introduced me to real Korean food by bringing me to Minsok Restaurant which later on became me and my friends’ barometer when it comes to Korean food in the Philippines. (Isn’t that ironic? A Japanese person introduced me to good Korean food.)

Atsushi was the one who taught me and my brother what real Japanese food should be.
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Late reaction.

I’m back! And I’m SO late for everything. :slaphead:

Let’s break this down into separate topics…

1. AI Finale – YAY! Kris! :cheer:

Thursday morning around 10:00am PH time, I sent this message to some friends:

I’m @ Pearl Farm, nagpaiwan ako sa island hopping (I didn’t join the island hopping) to watch AI. So worth it!

This was immediately after Kris Allen was declared the winner of American Idol Season 8. :thumbup:

I don’t have anything against Adam. I wouldn’t mind if he won, although I probably wouldn’t be as happy because (1) that’s totally expected since the beginning, anyway; and (2) as I’ve mentioned before, Kris has become my Blake/Jason for this year, that is, someone who isn’t as vocally good as the other contestants but have shown so much artistry (tm Kara “Bikini Girl 2” DioGuardi) and not to mention so good on the eyes, too, that I ended up rooting for them by the middle of the season. Actually, I’m more like on the Anybody-But-Gokey-And-Lil-Rounds train. So while I’m perfectly fine seeing Adam walk away with the title, I couldn’t help but scream and jump around our private cottage like crazy (I can do that since I’m all alone in the room, anyway) when Kris won.

I told Rizza the previous night that I had this weird feeling that Kris will pull a major upset over Adam. I dunno, it just felt that way. I think I saw something on Simon’s face after Kris sang Ain’t No Sunshine. As I’ve told Rizza, I think the judges – Simon in particular – used the same tactic they used on David Cook last year, but maybe for different reasons. But it was so obvious both on Performance and Finale Nights that the producers have long prepared for an Adam-Gokey finals. The proof:

(1) All of Kris’ performances did not have any production value whatsoever, which turned out to be advantageous to him because the focus was all on him. Although if he messed up, that could also be his downfall. Adam was able to cover up the little pitch problems here and there in his Mad World performance because of the entire trenchcoat-smoke-effect-blue-lights-fake-eyelashes extravaganza. When he sang No Boundaries, that’s when all the weaknesses in Adam’s vocals and artistry came out. Meanwhile…

(2) Kris had to make do with a song two keys higher than what his vocal cords can reach. :ayaw: Right there and then, I knew that the production had anticipated Gokey in the Final 2 and they didn’t have enough time to make adjustments. Heck, even the lyrics of the coronation song is perfect for Gokey. I was literally :lmao: when the judges were frantically trying to tell the viewers never to judge Kris based on the 3rd song because the key was too high for him. That’s the type of thing they’d only say about Gokey to cover up his ineptitude as a performer.

These two things became more obvious during Finale Night, when Gokey’s and even Allison’s numbers have more production value than Kris’ (don’t even mention Adam and KISS with those Spice Girls boots), and when Kris had to struggle to reach the key to We Are The Champions. He did surprisingly well, though. Speaking of which, is it just me or Brian May (guitarist of Queen) had more chemistry with Kris than with Adam? He seemed to like jamming with Kris more.

Other random AI stuff:

1. Can somebody explain to me why Anoop and Matt didn’t have special duets while Lil has one?

2. My favorite among the duet numbers: Allison with Cyndi Lauper. My least favorite: are we counting numbers that I didn’t even bother to watch? (read: Gokey and Lionel Richie)

3. :hihihi: David Cook was wearing the same outfit that he wore at his Shangri-la presscon with Archie. Dude needs more clothes.

4. I know Jorge is friends with Kris and he probably was just too happy for him, but dude… quit hogging the camera! Also, isn’t it depressing that Jorge is Latino and he can’t even sing a Santana song decently?

5. Anyone still remembers Jasmine Murray? No? I almost forgot about her, too.

6. Can I just say: whoever it was who choreographed the numbers should be patted at the back for making Scott McIntyre dance. Hey, I bet it’s not easy teaching a blind guy do choreographed group numbers (ok, granted that Scott isn’t totally blind, but still…).

7. If we do this the Randy Jackson way and make AI strictly a singing competition and vote only for those who could really, really sing, then Anoop should’ve won this. The guy can REALLY sing. Kinda flat stage personality, though.

8. I think AI is trying REALLY hard to downplay the fact that Kris is married. :nono: They always try to focus on the parents even if wifey is there, which is kinda odd considering that they never hide that fact on Chris Daughtry or any of the married female finalists. So when the end credits rolled with Kris giving his pretty wife a big hug, I was like, YAY! :clap:

2. V.I.Pfft…

Everything was said regarding all this Japan fans package tour for the Hong Kong show whatnot on the entry prior to this one (which was totally unrelated to the main topic of that entry), so I don’t know if I should still comment on it. But whatever, I’ll say something, anyway.

Rizza had posted there that I was pissed off. Actually, I’m not. What I really felt was (1) I felt sorry for the Hong Kong fans because I know what kind of shyte they’ve been getting from both the Hong Kong producers and J Tune as regards this show and yet they were not granted this kind of privilege (of course, this was prior to the knowledge that the aborted Japanese fans tour will only have lousy concert seats and a class picture with Teacher Rain); and (2) I felt sad for Rain because his company is ruining his career.

But wait! Why should I feel sad for Rain? He’s the CEO, isn’t he? Don’t tell me he’s going to invoke the “I have people doing these things for me, and I am not aware that this is happening” excuse again. Ji Hoonie, you already lost a court case using that excuse, and it was even valid at that time because you weren’t managing yourself. You cannot use that when you’re the CEO of your own management company. :nono: When will you ever learn, huh? Oh shoot, I just realized that I have just turned into a fan in denial. By assuming that he doesn’t know about these things, I am refusing to accept the possibility that he really might be a money-grabbing opportunist. I’m being in denial only because my psychic has told me that he’s not. What he really is is a person who puts too much trust and confidence on the wrong people instead of following his own instincts. Please, Ji Hoon, I still like you. Both as an artist and as a person. Don’t disappoint me!

3. Et al.

1. Remember my post about this person who posted comments in Ilocano at one of my YouTube clips? Well, somebody who understood the comment (and who is a regular of this blog) has responded – the response is too harsh, actually – and of course, this girl has to fight back through a comment that doesn’t make sense some more. She should realize that the phrase “it’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it” is used only if you don’t have anything to back up your claim. Also, if you’re really not looking for trouble, then don’t post anything that might offend other people in the guise of an “opinion”. Simple as that.

2. Uh-oh… I didn’t realize until now that the issue within the band that I used to stalk is deeper than I thought. No wonder they want to keep it under wraps. However, they should realize that if they don’t want to make a big issue out of it, then don’t post anything, even not-so-subtle hints, on the internet. Even subtle hints can be twisted into something bigger. Geez, and these are people who used to censor everything I post on their old forum because they fear that it might become an issue. :hopeless:

I still haven’t visited the forums, so there might be other stuff that I should be commenting on. I’ll do that later after I get some much needed sleep.


Blog Advisory:

My webhost will have a scheduled maintenance on May 24, 2009 at 1:00am (EDT) and will last for about 1 to 2 hours. If you happen to pass by on that date and time and my blog is down, don’t assume that I have given up blogging and have deleted everything.


Whoopsies. I did it again.

I wasn’t supposed to blog about this – basically because no one would probably care – but I feel that I would implode if I don’t talk or at least write about it.

As always, my habit of dipping my finger on someone else’s business has backfired on me. :slaphead: The story: someone has created a topic on a certain forum asking about a certain Filipino band which, once again for the gazillionth time, had a line-up change. She was asking because she has noticed that the group has been performing with another guitarist, so this person was wondering if the old guitarist has quit the band.

Since no one responded and I know the answer, I replied. I quoted their mailing list as the source of information.

Now I don’t know what the big deal is, but their moderator suddenly posted this thread at their mailing list saying the “issue” has spread in another forum (she even identified my internick on that list to point at me as the culprit when I wasn’t the one who created the thread in the first place) and cautioned everyone, particularly lurkers, not to say anything in other forums until an official statement has been made by the band.

I read that, and I was like… HUH? :shrug:

Ok, so apparently, anything that was posted on the official mailing list by the artists themselves is not only confidential, but also not official.


I don’t know if I have become stupid, or somebody else has. Really. I don’t get it. It was one of the band members who made the announcement(s) on the list. So that’s still not official? Moreover, that’s supposed to be confidential? On a PUBLIC mailing list? What the f…?

In fairness to me, my reply was safe (and they did point it out on the list) and I didn’t mention anything that was not mentioned on the announcement made by the band’s founding member. Well, it’s not like I would know stuff that was not mentioned on the mailing list. I don’t have access to classified information on the group anymore, and even when I did, I was always careful with the things that I share on their old website.

I had been controlling my urge to de-lurk just to point out to them that if they want to keep that information within their “circle”, then they should’ve told the band that they should’ve confined the announcement strictly to the members of their elite “circle” only instead of posting it at their PUBLIC mailing list where hell knows who’s reading and fishing for info. :scholar: Even if they insist on telling everyone never to re-post, that’s not gonna happen. Someone is bound to take it out. Why? Because they posted it for everyone to read, ergo, it is assumed that everyone is at liberty to spread it. Trust me, it happens to me on this blog all the time. In fact, I’ve been slammed and laughed at for that Notice I have up there because people think it’s ridiculous that I am telling everyone never to re-post the contents of this blog somewhere else. It’s posted on the internet for everyone to see, therefore everyone is free to use it to their convenience. Well, it’s not the simple re-posting that irks me. It’s the fact that people re-post it and assume it as gospel truth even if I specifically said that it’s not, and then when things get out of hand they point at me as the source. Or when people, for the lack of a good argument, use what I wrote to fill up their lack of a point. That’s what bothers me.

Anyway. Going back to the topic…

If I post a reply then I’m basically glorifying the non-issue into the “issue” that they thought it was, so I just let them remain in their delusional universe. Trust me, peeps, contrary to what you think, The thread has been buried on the forum already, and it’s not like it’s the first time that this group has changed members. Heck, they changed their line-up so many times, they’re like the local version of Menudo. And besides, there is no controversy behind it and they parted ways amicably, so why act like it’s a sensitive issue? As far as I can tell there is no issue at all.

I’ve just read a new reply from a member of the inner circle. Oh, I get it. They thought that if they keep mum about it, they can pretend that it didn’t happen. :slaphead: Aw c’mon. The group is already doing gigs with the new guitarist. They are not an obscure band, in fact they are considered living legends in Pinoy music. What, they actually thought nobody would notice? Shouldn’t you be glad that at least, someone out there is clarifying things for you instead of just letting people get false information through the grapevine? I really don’t get it. And I’m supposed to be dealing with people who are either my age or older. I guess common sense isn’t limited to a particular age bracket, ‘no?