Friday, November 15, 2013

CONCERNED UNDERGROUND MUSICIANS FOR RELIEF PRESENTS SONGS OF HOPE AND SURVIVAL


Third leg of the benefit show for typhoon Yolanda victims happening on the 23rd of November. Please keep on supporting these shows in aid for our countrymen that are affected by the killer typhoon.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING


On behalf of the Philippine Ska, Hardcore and Reggae community please accept our heartfelt appreciation for your kindness that you had shown to our brothers and sisters in the Central Visayas region.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO THE FOLLOWING:

DIY Ska and Punk label
ASIAN MAN RECORDS for setting up a fund raiser.



HARDCORE HELP FOUNDATION for creating a special fund relief aid for my country.



PHILIPPINE REGGAE SCENE'S RESPONSE TO YOLANDA: BANGON VISAYAS! WARAY BAYAAY!


On November 29, Friday the Bacolodnons are doing a benefit show for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. 

The UNITED VOLUNTEERS OF BACOLOD will be staging the show at MuShu Bar located at 20th Street, Lacson, Bacolod City, Western Visayas, Philippines

The benefit show will showcase Visayan Reggae and Dub bands - BUDOY of the Cebu based reggae dub band JUNIOR KILAT and Bacolod's THE WICKED TARSIERS joining them are 2 of the best reggae band in Manila INDIO I and TROPICAL DEPRESSION.

Bacolod is part of Visayas, one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines which is Luzon, and Mindanao.

When super typhoon Haiyan (locally know as Yolanda) hit Philippines last November 8 The Kabisayaan or Visayas was greatly affected. One of the cities was Bacolod. The Bacolodnons suffered the wrath of typhoon Yolanda and according to initial reports there were 5,941 families or an estimated 35,646 individuals were displaced.

As of this writing Bacolod is declared under state of calamity. They along with the rest of the kabisayaan badly need your help. Please support this noble cause.





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FIRST OF A SERIES OF MUSICAL EVENTS FOR THE VICTIMS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA


The CONCERNED UNDERGROUND MUSICIANS FOR YOLANDA RELIEF will be doing a series of Benefit shows for our fellow Filipinos who is in dire need of help.

The first show will be held at IDB Bar tomorrow. Featuring BAD OMEN, BOBBY BALINGIT OF THE WUDS, AL DIMALANTA OF THROW, THE SLEEPYHEADS, VAGABONDS, ARNOLD MORALES OF URBAN BANDITS, BUDDY TRINIDAD of BETRAYED, DRIVEWAY TO DRIVEWAY, DEATH TO PUBERTY, SHOULDER STATE, CROWD DISPERSAL UNIT, TURNOVERS and MILEE NICART.

IDB Bar is located at the 3rd floor of Richland Building, Dr. Arcadio Santos Avenue, Paranaque City. Please do support this noble cause.

Upcoming events will be posted on their Facebook page. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THE BAYANIHAN SPIRIT



Last month my country, Philippines experienced a deadly earthquake that shooked the whole Central Visayas partcularly Bohol that was hit hard. The magnitude was recorded at 7.2, the deadliest  quake recorded in the Philippine history. The energy of the quake was that of 32 Hiroshima bodmbs.

24 days had passed after the quake and Central Visayas had barely recovered from the calamity then came along typhoon Haiyan that hit Philippine shores on November 8 and ravaged down the region. 

Now Tacloban City once a vibrant coastal city is reduced to a vast corpse strewn wasteland after the onslaught of this super typhoon that is stronger than Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans in 2005. Typhoon Haiyan locally known as Yolanda left an estimated 9.8 people affected, 659.268 families displaced and 10,000+ are feared dead.

It is DAY 4 now and people are sleeping in makeshift tents and some are exposed to rains even lying to their dead loved ones. My countrymen is desperate for help. And being an Overseas Filipino Worker that i am this is one of the few ways that i can do to help my country by writing the sad fate my countrymen had endured on this blog.

As of today food and water supply is growing thin and desperation is growing strong. The level of losses inflicted on my fellow Filipino by Haiyan's earth shattering wake is grim.


Now, more than ever, the bayanihan spirit that is inherent in every Filipino must come to the fore.

I AM CALLING MY FELLOW OFW's, THE INTERNATIONAL PUNK AND HARDCORE COMMUNITY, SKA AND REGGAE COMMUNITY. THE PHILIPPINE VESPA CLUB FOR YOUR HELP.

As of this writing Mr. Al Dimalanta of Throw/Dead Ends and Mr. Arnold Morales of Urban Bandits/Put3ska had created CONCERNED UNDERGROUND MUSICIANS FOR YOLANDA RELIEF last month the people behind CUMFYR had organized a benefit gig for the victims of Central Visayas quake and plans for a similar effort is well underway for the aid to our fellow Filipinos who where displaced by typhoon Haiyan.  They will be staging a lighting quick series of events that will be held this week and probably up until Central Visayas can get back to its feet again.

This is a concentrated effort amongst the Filipino Punk and Hardcore community and if you want to help out please contact ALBERT ALLAN ASCONA of Bad Omen. The relief aid will be coursed through the PHILIPPINE RED CROSS. Rest assured that all pledges will be accounted for and will not fall into the hands of greedy politicians and bogus NGOs.

And to all punk rockers, skinheads and hardcore kids all around the world you can help by going to HARDCORE HELP FOUNDATION log on to http://hardcore-help.com/ 

And lastly the torch bearers of Bisikleta Productions - KONTRA KULTURA along with DIRTY SHOE COLLECTIVE will be staging a benefit gig on Saturday at THE SPOT please do attend the show and bring along bottled water and canned foods and if possible sacrifice a bit of your mobile phone load for our brothers and sister in need. A little goes along way as I always say.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WHO IS MS. AQUINO?

 “It aims to break through the social barriers and create a culture free of discrimination.” - Cindy Aquino




Whether we like it or not, our memory will fade. Details will become fuzzy and we will think that we remember all of the details of a time and place, however, our memory will build those details as it wishes not as it really was.

Last month I promised one of my lady friend back in the Philippines that i will do a piece on a person that we both knew that recently won in an international photography contest. But due to my busy schedule at work it took me almost a couple of weeks to start writing about her.

The person i was referring to is CINDY AQUINO. Cindy or to some friends who knew her by monicker as Inday, used to document most of the Bisikleta Production events from the time Bisikleta held court at Sazi's Bar and Ten 02 up to the time this production outfit landed at The Spot in Caloocan City.

One thing i could say is that most of the pictures that she has taken during those times were very intimate. I was struck by the wealth of images captured in black and white. Her images evoke almost immediate emotional responses among viewers, those pictures that she took created a tremendous impact. It has seized the moment.

Her black and whites are so raw and powerful it kinda reminded me of the early days of punk rock and hardcore zines where punk rockers decided to bring along an SLR or a cheap ass camera and just randomly click away. Those amateur photographers helped document the events that changed the face of popular music. Photography has done many things in our society and has opened so many eyes to much of what we use to take for granted. Those amateur photographers who eloquently documented the birth of punk music, fashion, art and lifestyle the likes of Toni Tye, Pennie Smith and Edward Colver are now famous worldwide.

It is great to hear that Cindy Aquino had earned worldwide recognition for her work from PRIDE PHOTO AWARD an organization on gender issues based in Amsterdam. Her winning entry is titled BOND. When i saw that winning entry of hers it immediately showed me that her craft holds a mirror up to humanity and shows us what is real, what is true and how unique we all are, and how much we really have in common.

BOND has a visual message that educate, entertain and persuade. To some viewers BOND can offend and shock. And that is what for me the beauty of it. It is not just a picture of something random it can show something that is happening all over the world. This write up for Cindy has long been overdue and my apologies Inday.

Congratulations on your achievement you add another laurel to our nation of winners. I hope you will be the next Alan Lomax or one day following those famous photographers footsteps that i had mentioned.




Her works are now on display at KANTO at The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., Brgy. San Antonio Village, Makati City from the 5th up to the 10th of November. 

The title of her exhibit is called DOS-ESPIRITU: ISANG QUADRO TRIANGULO SA SULOK NG MUNDO the exhibit tackles gender-related issues faced by LESBIANS, GAYS, BISEXUALS and TRANSGENDER Community in a culturally conservative Filipino society. 

If you happen to be in Makati City please do drop by and view her award winning work up close and personal.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

59 DAYS LEFT

October has already come to a close and November had just begun 2014 is just around the corner and as usual for every new year we expect something new coming in. And upon hearing news for Neighbors call for monetary support on their planned new album for a Filipino expat like me this is a sign of a brighter day ahead.

This is positive news and something to look forward to in 2014. But this may not come to fruition if all of you ska music loving maniacs out there in the Philippines would not support their financial needs to record new material. Neighbors are one of the surviving ska acts next to Put3ska in the 90s. They are the main proponents of Eastern Town Ska. These Angono rude boys are planning to record their new material with Mr Rhanny Torres of The Lost Boys, Ethnic Faces, Ocean Zoo and Brown Beat All Stars fame.

The Ska scene in the Philippines is up to now still minute compared to other parts of the world like Spain, Japan and America where labels like Liquidator, Jump Up and Stubborn Records had flourished due to their rabid supporters who happily shelve out their monthly worth of wages for every records these labels had put out hence their scene is so vibrant and healthy. And to add to that longevity are the tireless music promoters. You maybe wondering why the country I have mentioned can invite Jamaican greats as well as well known 3rd wave ska acts (when i said 3rd wave i don't mean that it is ska with trashing guitars and blaring horns, that is not fucking ska) in their shows is that they as well as the audience are willing to pay for it.

Unfortunately on our case, some of you are proudly trying to hide behind that misinterpreted punk ethos of "punk not profit" shite that we resort to downloading records that Neighbors, Shuffle Union, Coffee Break Island and along of a dozen local hardcore and punk bands had put out with their own money from their day jobs and forced nightly music prostitution gigs that you often accused them of selling out. (Hey ya dumb fucks! they have to put food on the table.)

The problem I had noticed is that some of the people who supported the underground scene, be it from ska to punk rock is that they always wanted the shows to be free. The reality of the matter is that these bands who often played for free for us and you...yes you - the audience in attendance is that they would go to these gigs using their own money to pay for transportation often riding unsecured on a thief prone vehicle the likes of jeepneys and buses and worst they pay for their own beer. While you on the other hand can not even pay for a measly sum equivalent to a days worth of mobile phone load and sometimes resort to haggling or worst begging to get in.

Now my point is if we really love the scene then we should start using money to pay for the entertainment these bands are doing for you. And if you like the bands music being showcased in an event then please avoid downloading their album. Support them by buying their records so they can put out more and more records for our listening pleasure.

And now on the subject matter of NEIGHBORS plan to release new material its 59 days to go please devote a bit of cash to their needs. They will need P100,000 for the cost of the entire recording. Let us try to fill up the gap (as of this writing they had collected close to half of the target amount).

Please donate a bit of your hard earned or in some cases stolen money from your parents wallet, and borrowed money to Indian launderers to them. Just go to www.artistconnect.com for more information and type in N E I G H BO R S.

Let us hope that next year we can expect new recorded material from them. Meanwhile enjoy this video of them playing with Eddie Ocampo of Stubborn All Stars and Korey Kingston Horn of Hepcat, Suedehead and Aggrolite fame during Bisikleta Productions shows.



Saturday, August 24, 2013

PORK BY ANY NAME



WHETHER they come in large or small amounts, pork barrel allocations have generated a lot of controversy since they were first introduced in the Philippines in 1922. In 1925, Senate Minority Leader Juan Sumulong stunned colleagues when, standing on a question of privilege, he charged that the ruling party had “misused public funds in the form of pork barrel appropriations.”
Legislators and citizens alike who have lobbied for the abolition -- or at least the taming -- of pork barrel over the years have proffered other reasons, ranging from the inequitable distribution of funds among the legislative districts and congressmen overstepping their mandate to make laws, to the failure of pork barrel-funded projects to respond to development needs, to the use of pork as a tool for political patronage.
But many have come to the defense of pork barrel legislation as well. Just like cholesterol, there is bad pork and good pork, they say. Without pork barrel, goes their argument, most of the countryside would have been neglected by the national government, being remote from the seat of power to wield much influence.
Pork barrel, or simply pork, refers to appropriations and favors obtained by a representative for his or her district. G. Luis Igaya of the Institute for Popular Democracy defines pork barrel legislation as “any attempt by Congress to divert national funds directly into their districts whether it be in the form of public works (such as highways or bridges), social services (such as education funds or public school buildings), or special projects (such as livelihood programs or community development projects).”
The difference between pork barrel and ordinary expenditures, explains Igaya, lies chiefly in the manner it is obtained. “Whereas the share of line agency budgets is based on annual financial reports,” he says, “pork barrel shares are based on lobbying efforts between and among members of Congress itself. Whoever can flex the strongest political muscle usually gets the largest share.”
The district funds are discretionary in nature. This means it is up to each congressman or senator to identify the projects of their pork barrel allocation and the beneficiaries. On too many occasions, however, lawmakers have exceeded their discretion, going as far as picking even the project contractors and suppliers.
American origins
Pork barrel has American origins. In 1823, the U.S. Congress enacted the first appropriation for rivers and harbors for the different states, promptly drawing criticisms from opponents that it was purely political in purpose. The measure was branded pork barrel legislation, supposedly after a pre-Civil War custom in the U.S. South in which landowners set aside a definite portion of pork salted in barrels for their black slaves. In 1919 a U.S political pundit wrote, “Oftentimes, the eagerness of the slaves would result in a rush upon the pork barrel, in which each would strive to grab as much as possible for himself. Members of Congress, in their rush to get their local appropriations…behaved so much like Negro slaves rushing to the pork barrel.” (Parreno 1998)
Other texts meantime suggest that the term “pork barrel” originated from a practice of American farmers who preserved pork in barrels in anticipation of the hardships of winter, when the pork is shared with their needy neighbors. A third version says the term simply comes from the old adage, “Bring home the bacon.”
By the time the notion of pork barrel rolled into the Philippines, it was already 1922. That was when a public works act separate from the general appropriations act (GAA) was first passed. It didn’t take long, however, before the Philippine version of the pork barrel acquired a sleazy sheen, no thanks to the shenanigans of legislators.
Act 3044, the first pork barrel appropriation, essentially divided public works projects into two types. The first type—national and other buildings, roads and bridges in provinces, and lighthouses, buoys and beacons, and necessary mechanical equipment of lighthouses—fell directly under the jurisdiction of the director of public works, for which his office received appropriations. The second group—police barracks, normal school and other public buildings, and certain types of roads and bridges, artesian wells, wharves, piers and other shore protection works, and cable, telegraph, and telephone lines—is the forerunner of the infamous pork barrel.
Although the projects falling under the second type were to be distributed at the discretion of the secretary of commerce and communications, he needed prior approval from a joint committee elected by the Senate and House of Representatives. The nod of either the joint committee or a committee member it had authorized was also required before the commerce and communications secretary could transfer unspent portions of one item to another item.
Pork barrel took on a somewhat different form in 1950. First, the public work act passed that year ended the practice of releasing the amount in lump sum, meaning the law did not specify projects. Second, it transferred the discretion of choosing projects from the secretary of commerce and communications to legislators. For the first time, the law carried a list of projects selected by members of Congress, they “being the representatives of the people, either on their own account or by consultation with local officials or civil leaders.”
In an apparent bid to make pork barrel more palatable, Congress also segregated the legislative-sponsored projects from other items in the public works act and christened them “community projects”— “miscellaneous community projects” for projects of congressmen and “nationwide selected projects” for those of the senators—and then “short-term rural progress projects under the socio-economic program.”
During this period, the pork barrel process began with local government councils, civil groups, and individuals asking congressmen or senators for projects through formal resolutions or verbal communications. Petitions that were accommodated formed part of a legislator’s allocation. The majority then convened a caucus, which determined the amount each legislator would get. The amount was built into the administration bill prepared by the Department of Public Works and Communications (DPWC), although the pork barrel section was left unfilled but for the words “to be inserted in the House…” The Senate and the House of Representatives then added their own provisions to the bill until it was signed into law, the Public Works Act, by the president.
Interest groups pushed for the funds’ release as soon as the law got approved, even though the president still got to decide when to release the money. When funds were approved for release, the budget commissioner transmitted an allotment advice to the DPWC, which in turn routed a sub-allotment advice to the city or district engineer. The engineer’s officer would then inspect the site, prepare a program of work, and schedule construction either by the department or private contractors or, in some cases, by barrio councils, parent-teacher associations, or civic organizations.
Martial-law pork
Public work acts lasted a good 50 years, interrupted only by the outbreak of war in 1942, and then in the mid-1960s, when stalemate between the House of Representatives and the Senate resulted in no pork barrel legislation getting passed. Martial law was another pork barrel legislation spoiler, pulling the plug on it, albeit only temporarily. By 1982, the Batasang Pambansa introduced a new item in the annual general appropriations act’s National Aid to Local Government Units: the Support for Local Development Projects or SLDP.
Journalist Belinda Olivarez-Cunanan would write three years later, “The SLDP is closest thing that today’s assemblymen have to the controversial pork barrel fund of the old glory days. In fact, the SLDP may be said to be truly one of the carryover practices from the old Congress, which contradicts the claim of the Batasan to being the parliamentary system based not on patronage, but on programs and principles.”
Each assemblyman received P500,000 in SLDP. But pork barrel items no longer just came under the form of public works projects, or “hard” projects as they are called these days. Sure, legislators still allocated their SLDP to capital outlays and infrastructure projects like schoolhouses, municipal buildings, roads, and the like. But they also used the money for what are now known as “soft projects”-- the purchase of medicines, fertilizers, fumigants and insecticides, paints, and sports equipment, or for scholarships for constituents.
The SLDP worked this way: The assemblyman expressed his project preferences to the Ministry of Budget and Management, which had been delegated by the Office of the President to approve projects. The MBM, in turn, released the allocation papers to the Ministry of Local Governments, which would issue the checks to the city or municipal treasurers in the assemblyman’s constituency, who then paid project suppliers.
Enter Cory’s CDF
Four years after the fall of Ferdinand Marcos and the return of democracy, President Corazon Aquino restored the pork barrel of members of Congress. But it was rechristened “Countrywide Development Fund” or CDF. Pork was to go by that name for the next eight years.
As in pork’s initial years, the budget provided just a lump sum. Beginning 1992, however, amid widespread clamor among congressmen for equitable distribution, the General Appropriations Act (GAA) adopted the Batasang Pambansa's practice of allocating members of Congress equal amounts. Initially, each congressman got P12.5 million and each senator P18 million.
Basically, no limitation was made on the legislators’ CDF-funded projects. A congressman or senator could identify any kind of project, from hard or infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and buildings to soft projects such as textbooks for schools, medicines to each household, scholarships for constituents and financial support to some seminar.
But the CDF was by no means the only type of pork the lawmakers could partake of. During his administration, Fidel V. Ramos, a minority president, fashioned other forms in an attempt to ensure continued support for his legislative agenda from Congress. Among these were the Public Works Fund, restored in 1996; School building Fund; Congressional Initiative Allocation or CIA; El NiƱo Fund; and the Poverty Alleviation Fund.
By and large, members of Congress do not acknowledge the School building Fund as pork barrel, but a special provision of the GAA clearly marks it as such: “The allocation of demountable school building shall be made upon prior consultation with the representative of the legislative district concerned.” Ramos restored the School building Program, which was administered by the education department during Aquino’s time, to the Department of PublicWorks and Highways in 1995 upon the strong lobbying of members of Congress. Close to P5 billion was appropriated that year for this purpose.
Congressional Initiative Allocations were not clearly provided in GAAs. Rather, they were items inserted to the budget of a government agency through the negotiations with the Speaker and the chairman of the appropriations committee. Legislators had the power to direct how, where, and when these particular appropriations were to be spent. Most of the funds were contained in the budgets of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Health.
CIAs ran into billions of pesos as well. At one point, they even reached as much P28 billion, according to some accounts. But since they formed part and parcel of the budgets of executive departments, they were not easily identifiable and were thus harder to monitor. Those who knew the most about the insertions were the lawmakers themselves, the finance and budget officials of the implementing agency, and the Department of Budget and Management.
From CDF to PDAF
When he campaigned for the presidency, Joseph Estrada vowed to abolish pork barrel, which by then had been swirling in controversy after controversy. But once he got into office, the former action-film star did not entirely scrap the legislators' discretionary funds. He simply changed the system, taking pains to remove only the CDF-type of pork barrel and retaining the rest, such as the School building Fund and the CIAs. He even added his own type of pork barrel, the Lingap para sa Mahirap Program.
Estrada at first sought to limit the use of district funds to only hard projects, and created the Rural Development Infrastructure Fund or RUDIF, a facility that was exactly the same creature as the Public Works Fund. Each congressman was supposed to receive P30 million, but the amount was merely a gentlemen’s agreement. The 1999 national budget carried no special provision that indicated the amount each congressman would get, leaving legislators at the mercy of the executive branch, namely Estrada.
Clamoring for the restoration of funds for soft projects, Congress successfully lobbied for a share of P2.5 billion Lingap para sa Mahirap Fund, which was supposed to be channeled to poor families in the form of a package of assistance, including food, nutrition and medical assistance; price support for rice and corn; protective services for children and youth; rural waterworks; socialized housing; and livelihood development. The congressmen gained two-thirds control of the fund for their so-called projects.
Then came the comeback of the CDF – or as then President Estrada preferred to call it, the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. Given a ballooning budget deficit and rising criticism against pork at the time, though, a trade-off was inevitable: Legislators lost some of their discretionary power. Under the new system, at least on paper, congressmen would identify projects from a narrow set of project categories determined by the executive.
Today, the PDAF is still very much around. So are other special-purpose funds, especially the Public Works Fund and the School Building Fund.

THIS WAS WRITTEN BY VERA FILES'S By Yvonne T. Chua and Booma B. Cruz

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DO NOT GO GENTLY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT.


“All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist the government when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.” This revolution is not one to eliminate the government, but to make it better. “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” 

(Thoreau, 1849).

I AM CALLING ALL MY FELLOW FILIPINOS TO STAND UP AND FIGHT. WAKE UP PHILIPPINES. OUR COUNTRY IS RUNNED BY PIGS.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

THE PASSING OF THE TORCH TO THE GUYS AT COUNTER CULTURE


We're so proud to say that we had earned our bragging rights from the get go when Bisikleta Productions first started. The brains behind this operations was a bragging right in itself. His name alone is enough proof that this production is one heck of a force to be reckoned with. 

The man i am talking about is non other than Luis "Weslu" Guiang. He's the man behind the kit of PRIVATE STOCK, G.I, AND THE IDIOTS & PUT3SKA. He also played drums for TROPICAL DEPRESSION and sessioned for THE JERKS. 

It's a great honor and a privileged for me to be a part of BISIKLETA PRODUCTIONS we had featured and supported great local talents for almost 7 years and we had our fair share of visiting foreign musicians as well as one well known DJ on our shores and it would be a shame not to name drop each and every one of them since this is one of our bragging rights let me now tell you who they are even though we can not afford to bring in foreign bands we are extremely blessed by the presence of these fine individuals: Ryan Kunimura of GO JIMMY GO jammed with PINKCOW, Keb Darge rocked the crowd with his rare as hen's teeth rockabilly 45s at the now defunct bar of Put3Ska's vocalist the Ten 02 Bar & Resto, Eddie Ocampo of THE STUBBORN ALL STARS had jammed with NEIGHBORS and lastly Korey Kingston Horn of HEPCAT, THE AGGROLITES, WESTERN STANDARD TIME and SUEDEHEAD had graced Counter Culture Fridays last February 8 rocking the crowd with his superb drumming.

And now as Bisikleta Productions passed the torch to the guys at Counter Culture as it is now their time to earn their laurel through Counter Culture Fridays. 

POST SCRIPT: If you missed last Friday's show you can head on down tonight at B - Side in Malugay Street, Makati City at The Collective for an authentic reggae refresher to cap your weekend courtesy of IRIE SUNDAY watch Korey Kingston Horn for the very last time as he will jam with Manila's only reggae band that matters non other than TROPICAL DEPRESSION.

Monday, February 4, 2013

COUNTER CULTURE FRIDAYS



Today had me thinking about how a lot of people perceive reggae music. Last Friday was Marley's favorite singer, the crown prince of reggae Dennis Emmanuel Brown's birthday. My friend and I went out that night to see our buddies from Angono, ska stalwarts NEIGHBORS perform for a Robert Nesta Marley event in Marikina.  

It's a saddening sight that we've noticed that some of the bands that played that night are just out there not to remember and embraced the man who addressed the social issues of his homeland and had given voice to the political and cultural nexus of Jamaica, But simply because Bob Marley smoked weed. 

Reggae is not all about smoking weed and loving Bob. I’m tired that weed’s presence seeps both blatantly and discreetly into all sorts of lyrics. So much to my dismay that I got up on the mic like Kanye West bum rushing Taylor Swift and started lambasting a band that night using reggae and hip hop music as a poor excuse for their choice of medium complete with their fake ass Jamaican patois singing and rapping about nothing else but Marijuana from the beginning of their performance up to the end of it.  

Reggae music in and of itself is brilliant – it addresses social issues like racism, equality, overcoming the odds, being true to oneself, having faith, love, endorsing sustainable living, and much more.  Morgan Heritage sang, “You don’t haffi dread to be Rasta,” which is a nugget I hold onto, because it’s expressing that it’s what’s on the inside, or what’s in your heart, that counts. If I apply this adage to this particular issue, I come to the conclusion, You don’t have to be high to be  enlightened. For those indie bands out there in garages all over Philippines, you don't need to get high or turn your locks into dreadlocks. 

And remember reggae is not just about the acquisition of a Bob Marley’s Legend CD. 

One more thing about the band that I had bum rushed unlike Kanye who apologizes to one of the talent less individual in the world I will not apologize at all because the crap you put out that night is like her voice, when not treated with effects, is incredibly annoying.  

And for the readers of this blog there are some great, trusted reggae, punk, hardcore and ska event producers as well as equally great bands out there all you got to do is to sift through the dross. Please do not settle for anything less as Robert Matthew Van Winkle had said - ANYTHING LESS THAN THE BEST IS A FELONY.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE SPOT


Please join us on Saturday January 26, 2013 as Bisikleta Productions closes it's door indefinitely. 

Performing on the said date will be the creme dela creme of Bisikleta Productions usual suspects as well as new ones that had graced last year's shindigs. Expect to hear different genres of music ranging from punk rock, oi!, 2 tone and trad ska. Plus a strictly vinyl set from Nick and Dennis.

For a measly sum of 50 pesos you'll get yourself an ice cold beer and an entrance to Caloocan City's one and only venue that caters to the local underground scene.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT


Get your weekly Jamaican music fix every Wednesdays at Gweilos Makati as Papadom and The Rebel Lion crew serves massive doses of wax on the ones and twos connecting the music to it's original roots and culture.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

IT'S ARMAGED IT ON TIME! HERE'S OUR YEAR ENDER ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON

The Mayans are long gone and we are not.





Eddie Ocampo of The Stubborn All Stars jamming with the Angono rudeboys Neighbors. His one drops reminded me of the late Luis Weslu Guiang.


Direct from Batangas Tellayouthska!


A Boy named Hil on the wheels of steel


Skank til you drop!


The Exsenadors serving up their own brand of Oi! for the working class


Skinhead, Punks, Afros and a Bouncer


Batangas Ska


Neighbors warming up the crowd


Steady Movin' Beat bringing in the 2 tone flavor


The crowd


Janelle of the Dandimites


Our audience doing the Siskel and Ebert pose. Two thumbs up!


Nikoy of The Monsoons backing up for Steady Movin Beat


Batangas city represent


Paulo of the infamous ska punkers Pinkcow doing the Erap dance


Steady Movin' Beat and the crowd


The Tulfo brothers aint got nothing on him! It's Eric not Raymart of The Exsenadors


Drunk and happy! A few of our satisfied audience


Dub, Dub, Dub


Arvee Fider and the 45s


Dandimites
  

Full packed


Yes it's vinyl and not digital

THIS IS THE DAWNING OF A NEW ERROR


This will be the first and probably the last Bisikleta Productions event for this year for it is the time to pass the torch to the new breed of rebels as Bisikleta Productions had handed down the duties to a bunch of like minded individuals mostly composed of the usual suspects that had graced Bisikleta Productions in the past. 

These slightly off their heads collective had built a credible DIY scene during it's infancy back when yours truly was away on an employment gig in Vietnam.

Starting February we will be on a hiatus and for that Counter Culture will continue and pick up right where we left of. Just like life it is a series of young bloods taking over while the seasoned veterans of the scene had to move on to pursue higher endeavors. 

Please support Counter Culture as you had lovingly supported this outfit through the years. And remember never take shit from no one. Now off to Africa.....