Aah, so THAT’s what the hype was all about.

Why do I feel like a total freak for totally not caring about the Eraserheads’ Final Concert?

About two-three hours ago, I received quite a number of text messages from friends – both old and current – reminding me to tune in to GMA-7 for the TV broadcast of the concert. I don’t know if any of my old friends ever remembered that I never had an E-heads phase… My brother certainly did, though. He took his wife and sisters-in-law to the concert, but never bothered to ask me if I want to tag along. He knows that I never rode on the E-heads bandwagon. I was in college when the band became big and I was already into bands then because of my best friend, and that should mean that the E-heads should be part of my growing up years. Sadly, it didn’t. I know their songs, I don’t hate them, I’m just not a fan, period.

This sounds incredibly weird for someone who used to claim that she’s a band stalker, and is actually still carrying that label because of this blog’s domain name. And I should actually care because I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Raimund Marasigan once in a non-band setting and he’s one heck of a cool guy. He’s one of my favorite ‘rockstars’. Also, by association, Buddy Zabala is sorta connected to me as he is now playing bass for the band that I used to stalk. It is by sheer coincidence, however, that he came in after I’ve stopped stalking.

So anyway, so as not to feel like a total freak (my gosh, everyone as in everyone is tuned in to this concert tonight, including my own father :slaphead: ) I decided to check it out. As I’m writing this, Ely Buendia is singing the prison anthem, Kailan. Ah, so this is what the hype is all about. It must’ve been really a momentous occasion for those who, at some point in their lives, have made an Eraserheads song their anthem of life. I can feel the energy in the audience. And whoa, what a massive audience that was.

And that just about fulfills my quota for this topic.

PS: Actually, the real reason why I tuned in is to check out their FrancisM tribute. Hopefully, I didn’t tune in too late…

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Rear-view mirror.

Objects in a rear-view mirror appear closer than what they really are…

Four years ago in September, Paulette The Band Stalker died.

In the past four years, I’ve been asked countless of times why I decided to stop supporting that band that I used to stalk. And for good reason, too. Within a period of 3 years and 9 months, I was the single most visible fan this band had. I was a regular face at their gigs. I was logged on to their website practically 24/7. I kept their forum alive. In those years that they would play to an audience of 10, half of which is composed of the band’s family members, friends and roadies, I was there cheering them on. I got so close to them that I ‘transitioned’ from being a fan to a friend. Or so I thought.

September 2004, one of their guitarists got kicked out. After he left, I gradually started missing their gigs until I stopped going completely.

Whenever I am asked about it now, my answer ranges from, “my interests have changed” to giving a few snippets of what went on in those last days of September 2004. Only a very select few know the grisly details. Even my brother who was my band-stalking partner back in the day doesn’t know the entire story. We never really had the chance to discuss it. Although I have a feeling that no words need to be uttered; he just knows.

I may have been out of the scene for the past four years, but I am still abreast with the goings-on in the band. I am still subscribed at their mailing list, although mainly because I wanted to know what they’ll say should the subject of Mr. Ex-Guitarist or Ms. Ex-Band Stalker crops up. Yesterday, someone posted a forwarded private email originally coming from one of the band’s ‘core group’ of fans (aka. my replacement[s] as official band slaves stalkers), and one of the recipients took it upon himself to re-post the entire message at the mailing list for every fan to see.

Apparently, the girlfriend of one of the band members wrote a scathing blog entry calling her boyfriend’s band’s fans as “pathetic”, “crazy and obssessive” and “nothing but stalkers” who only hang around with the band so that they can tell their friends that they are friends with famous people. On one part of the article, she mentioned about the band being at fault for letting fans take a peek into their personal lives. Because of this trait, she said, them “pathetic fans” assume that they have become friends of the band members when in fact they are not.

Of course, that excuse phrase “some, not all” is there. But she never told the difference between the ‘real ones’ and the ‘wannabes’. So if you are part of the core group, where would you put yourself, then?

I find it amusing that this story cropped up on the same month of the Band Stalker’s ‘death anniversary’. For that, I wish to thank the blogger for putting on (virtual) paper my four-year old theory regarding what this band’s members and the people around them really think of me and every fan whom they allowed into their inner circle. For three years and nine months, I myself had the impression that I belonged there. People who had the same experience with them have warned me, but I ignored them. I ignored all the signs. Maybe it’s the fan in me that wants to keep the illusion that a fan’s ultimate dream of having close personal ties with her idol(s) can come true and I am the living proof of it.

Then the fateful events of September 2004 happened. It all came crashing down. I was faced with a choice: illusion or friendship? Loyalty or principle?

I remember Mr. Guitarist telling me in one of our late-night chats after his departure from the band: “Tell me, among all of us in the band, who was the one who really took the effort to know the real you?”

It’s not just celebrities who live double lives. Fans do, too. If a celebrity can demand understanding from the public, why can’t a fan demand the same from her idol who misjudged her?

I just feel bad for the current core group. I had hoped that they won’t face the harsh reality that these people are not really all about real friendships and being ‘on the same boat’. Unfortunately for them, some things just don’t change.

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Random Thoughts No. 45.

My fingers have been itching from restraining myself from lecturing fans on How Not To Freak Your Idol Out When You’re In His Presence (Even If It’s Just On The Internet). :hihihi:

I mean, these “idols” are people, too… they do get embarassed like everyone else, you know. If, say, they logged on to your blogsite or forum thread and you acknowledge their presence by asking really embarassing questions like, “did you call ____ (the other half of their loveteam) last night?”, “Will you visit her on her guesting at [insert name of TV show here]?”, “Do you have a webcam/YM? Can we chat right now?” :bop: ; or if you constantly announce to the world their online/offline status and even openly tell everyone how to detect it; do you honestly believe they will not feel iffy about visiting your site/forum thread again?

As it is, after visiting their forum thread and posting a couple of messages, them celebs didn’t come back to post again even if they promised they will. If I were in their shoes, I’d probably set my account on “invisible mode”, too.

Hmmm… maybe I’ll teach them how to be invisible. :naughty: :evil:

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I wonder: If I stayed in the band scene, would I end up being a subject for a TV documentary, too?

This is Joseph. He is a familiar fixture in the Philippine rock band scene, most notably among 80’s fanatics. He’s famous not only because he goes to every imaginable 80’s-themed gig there is, he goes there in full battle gear. He is the walking definition of CosPlay. Notice the string of flowers (and of all flowers, he had to choose kalachuchi which is commonly used on funeral wreaths :err: ) on his neck? It’s part of his ensemble for the night. His outfits are stuck in 80’s time warp, complete with sweatsocks, tubes of eyeliner and cans of Aquanet (at one gig, he was wearing a wool jacket and scarf… in the middle of summer in tropical Philippines :stretcher: ). And he’s never shy once the bands start playing. He will flail his taunt body and dance like there’s no tomorrow, nevermind if he’s the only one doing it.

This free-spirited quality of Joseph landed him a one-hour documentary feature for a major TV network. Said episode of I-Witness was aired last night at GMA-7, and even if the docu also tackled the 80’s new wave era, Joseph was immortalized by having his name on the docu’s title, Sayaw ni Joseph (Joseph’s Dance).

Joseph and I used to rub elbows in gigs a lot during my bandstalker days, mainly because the band I used to stalk is the definitive music icon of 80’s new wave here in the Philippines. Many people think he’s weird – war-freak “rakistas” even beat him up one time simply because he dresses up differently – but he’s actually nice. Deep, in some ways, though he’s always stuck in his own new wave world.  Now that he’s got his own place in the spotlight, I guess that’s one way of giving The Finger to all those who misjudged him all this time. Kudos to you, Joseph.  :rakenrol:

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The one thing I learned from following both Rain and SHK – which most fans still can’t seem to stick in their heads – is: never trust their published schedules.

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After much hoo-ha on whether Rain will really sing in the Olympics – which turned into a big debate on whether he should step on Chinese artists’ shoes and accept the offer – which turned out to be irrelevant, after all, because he was never asked in the first place – it is final: he will sing an Olympic song, but only for Samsung Mobile’s Olympic CF to be aired in China. Which, I’m sure, will still be an issue for his critics. I could already hear the, “why can’t they get Chinese artists to sing for the ad?”, for which the obvious answer would be, “uh, because Samsung is a Korean company?” At which they would say, “then why can’t they get [insert name of another K-pop star who is not Rain] instead?” and list down all possible reasons why this other K-pop artist should do it.

For which I will say, “because Samsung wants Rain, so he got the contract. Any other questions?”

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And speaking of CFs… I’m stealing this off Rain Indonesia because I’m jealous as hell.

(c) Rain Indonesia

I wonder when shall we see something similar here in the Philippines? Is there any chance we’ll see billboards and tarps of Rain here at all?

Although in all fairness to Unilever-Ph, Rain’s Clear ad is still getting a lot airtime here. There’s a new 15-second version out, and I was able to finally record it last night. Here it is:

At first I thought it was just a shortened version of the previous TVC, but actually, it’s not. Some parts are edited differently. In the original version, you won’t be able to screencap this scene clearly because it flew by too fast:

credits:  AgentP for CloudPH

I miss this look on him. :dream: I wonder when shall he get rid of the girly Speed Racer hairstyle?

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Body snatchers.

I almost regretted going out last night.

We don’t have a Volt-In this week because Charity is out of the country and Lai is tied up at work, as usual. However, last Wednesday I received an SMS from someone totally unexpected: guitar maestro Perf de Castro (of Rivermaya/Tri-Axis/FrancisM fame), who’s known in Pinoy band circles as one of the best Pinoy guitarists ever. I had the privilege of knowing him personally during my bandstalker days and actually worked with him as “road manager” for a couple of his experimental bands before he moved to the US of A some two-three years ago. He’s back in town to promote his latest solo CD of classical guitar music – yes, the rock guitarist has turned classical; actually, he’s been like that even before he left for the US – and the reason for the SMS was to inform us about his gigs at Eastwood (Thursday) and Serendra (Friday). Since I don’t have anything to do on Friday, I decided to check it out, for old times’ sake.

However, I was dead tired from a week of travelling to our faraway clients (for our team had the most “unfortunate” fate of being assigned at four agencies which are geographically far away from each other) + I had worried about traffic and heavy rains on a Friday night without my own transportation + the gig is in Makati at 7:00pm and it’s already 5:30 and I’m still at my client’s office in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. I had a bout of indecisiveness until the very last minute, when my teammates dropped me off just before the freeway exit and a bus going towards EDSA happened to pass by. So off I went to Makati even if I know that I’m gonna be hella late.

I arrived in Ayala at promptly 7:00pm; I still have to take a cab going to Serendra (for I totally don’t know how to get there using public transport as I usually go there aboard Charity’s car + Serendra is a “sosyal” place, meaning only rich and feeling-rich people go there so there’s no way I’m going there aboard a PUJ  :glee: ), so off I went to the taxi bay. Which, at that time, has a loooooong line of waiting passengers and no taxi cabs. To make matters worse, it rained really hard. In the Philippines, when it rains, there’s sure to be a traffic jam. I think I sorta predicted my destiny last night (see above)  :idea: . I sent an SMS to Atsushi the Crazy Japanese Dude who’s already there at the venue to ask if the show started on time, and he said it did. At that point, I had resolved to the fact that I’m totally going to miss it, and started blaming myself for not listening to my gut feel. I could have just stayed home and got some much-needed sleep instead, ya know?

Anyway, long story short, I got to Serendra at 10 minutes to 8:00. I went straight to A Different Bookstore thinking I’ll just say ‘hi!’ to Perf and maybe chitchat with Atsushi a bit before plunging back to Friday night traffic again. :aargh:  When I got inside the bookstore, the show was still ongoing (I was able to catch the last 2 songs) at the 2nd floor. I just decided to wait for the show to finish and pretended to check out the books at the ground floor, when what I’m really doing was listening to the sound of sweet 10-string guitar music emanating from upstairs.

The show finally ended, and I couldn’t help but giggle when I heard the host say, “ladies and gentlemen, Perfecto de Castro!” :lmao: At that point, I knew this was going to be a surreal night. He may be “Perfecto” to the A-B crowd, but he’s still good ol’ Pekto to me. I went upstairs and scanned the crowd for familiar faces. The first one I saw was Atsushi, who was looking very yuppie in a white long-sleeved polo shirt and slacks.   :shock: I couldn’t resist telling him that he looks like a yuppie, and he was like, “I AM a yuppie.” Take note, this guy used to wear bicycle chains as fashion accessories on a daily basis. He then pointed me to Perf, who was wearing an almost-identical white shirt and slacks ensemble as Sushi, and was being surrounded by the alta-sosyedad asking for his autograph.

(c) Bandstalker.com

Talk about major upgrade. Most of his former autograph-seekers were punkilitos in requisite black shirts and torn jeans and hair which screams, “I need shampoo and conditioner!” Now, he’s got society matrons and girls with colegiala accents asking him to sign his CD. :hihihi:

I managed to tear him away from his new “fans” to have some small talk, and his first line to me was: “Kumusta na? Wala na yung blog mo ah.” (How are you? Your blog is gone.) I was like… huh?   :?: My blog is alive and well, thank you. But then, he followed it up with “puro telenovela na” (now, it has nothing but telenovelas), and I instantly had an “omigad, I’ve just been outed!” moment, something I haven’t felt for the past two-plus years of being away from the rock band scene.

More people approached Perf, so I went back to Atsushi, who instantly showed – well, flaunted is more like it – to me his new Sony 15x optical zoom digicam which he got in Japan for more than half the PH selling price. 8) He then asked, “what’s your new camera?” Sushi is like that whenever we meet. It’s either, “is that a new phone?” or “do you have a new cam?” It stemmed from the fact that there was a period in the past where I changed phones or cameras every three months.  :razz: Anyway, I pointed at my K-800i and said, “this is my new cam” :hihihi: . Sushi: “what phone is that?” Me: “a CyberShot phone”. Sushi: “there’s a CyberShot phone???” I guess he felt like my new toy outshadowed his new toy, coz he shot back with “well, mine’s got 15x zoom”. To which I said, “that’s a camera, man, mine’s a phone.”  :bop: :mrgreen:

Suddenly, Sushi said, “hey, your hair is nice. Where did you get that done?”  :shock: When did he start noticing women’s hair?? And “where did you get that done?” Where did that come from? First, Perf’s got sosyalera fans. Then, Sushi was noticing women’s hair. What is this, Invasion of the Body Snatchers?  :alien:  Except instead of aliens in pods, we have rockstars turning into metrosexual yuppies.  :ayaw:

Later on, while I was catching up with The Dawn’s former road manager Alvin R. (who has also turned corporate – he’s now a real estate agent), I spotted the two former rock guitarists chatting and I couldn’t resist taking a pic. Who would have thought that these two:

(c) Bandstalker.com

…looked like this three years ago, when I was still managing them as guitarists for SPaM and Mah’tiggahz?

(c) Bandstalker.com

But then again, who am I to talk. Instead of my usual bandstalker outfit of tee-shirt, jeans, Converse Chuck Taylors and messenger bag, I went to Perf’s gig last night wearing a girly blouse and high heels, toting a fuschia pink purse.  :wacky:

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Random Thoughts No. 39.

Once again, I have proven that the present generation of Soompiers – not just the Soompi Biers, but Soompiers, in general – tend to take everything they read in there seriously. So note to myself: Don’t even think about joking, or they will think you’re not. :boinkself:

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Oh yeah, I don’t know if a certain person at Soompi’s SHK thread is reading this, but… while it is healthy to talk about people’s past loves, that man is an exception. He has rabid fans, and they all hate her. ‘Nuff said.

Edit: I just remembered that she is a regular here, so yeah, she will read this. Just an advisory, my friend. :smile:

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Ok, moving on…

(c) Paulette Espiritu

Atsushi Matsuura, former guitarist of The Dawn – Pulp Freaks Attack, December 2001

This photo is probably my most favorite of all the band photos I took during my entire duration as a band stalker (and we’re talking thousands of photos here). It was taken using my first digital camera, a 2MP Casio Exilim M-1 which I gave to my dad when I decided to buy a higher model. I mainly bought that cam because of the size so that it would be easy to sneak it in venues which do not allow cameras. It’s not exactly a very powerful camera per se, especially by today’s standards, but as you can see, it CAN take kick-ass photos.  :thumbup:

*sigh* I miss band photography…

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I remember in the olden times (haha, olden times), I refused to buy a digital camera. I could’ve had the chance to buy a kick-ass model at a low price when I was in Japan (Akihabara, oh what a lovely place, the gadget freak’s heaven…), but I basically ‘snubbed’ all of them because I wanted to hang on to my instamatic Canon film camera. My reason then is that I wanted to look at prints. However, after getting tired of scanning them for my website (the now-demised The Dawn Photo Archives) and getting poor for buying film and developing the photos, I finally gave in and bought the above-mentioned Casio.

It’s been a while since I last changed my camera. There was a time when I would change cellphones and cameras about once every three months. After experiencing the joy of travelling, I basically got broke and now, both my cellphone and my camera are about 2 years old (in the case of my yeobo, 3 years old). Before, I would check websites and stores a lot to know the latest models. Now, I try my best to stay away from them, or die salivating at the high-tech features and specs.

It’s a good thing both my cell and cam deliver the goods for me. Otherwise, I would probably give in to the temptation of getting more buried deep in credit card bills and buy a new one.

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I saw the Pinoy horror film Feng Shui for the first time yesterday afternoon. Everyone was saying it’s the best, most horrifying Filipino horror film of all time.

Please.  :rolleyes:

The original Shake, Rattle and Roll, Pridyider episode. Now THAT was pure terror. I stayed away from our refrigerator for more than a week after watching it.   :err:

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CloudPH matters:

I have just posted the announcement re: our new forum admin at CloudPh, who is none other than Precious. :clap:

I couldn’t help but laugh when I wrote the sentence, “You may now PM either Rizzaritz, ~precious_rain~ or fatgrrl_slim for admin matters.” I bet those who hate me in that forum – who is practically everyone – are now thinking, “yay! We don’t have to deal with fatgrrl_slim anymore!!! Woo-hoo!!! :soju:

That’s what you think… :phew:

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