GYM CLASS MAGAZINE #07 was our fastest-selling issue. We’re pretty sure this had a lot to do with Andrew Losowsky’s interview with George Lois. The issue sold out long ago, so it only seems fair that we publish Andrew’s Q&A here for all to enjoy.
After he dressed Muhammed Ali as St…
16 of the Best Songs from the Rakenrol Era
This came out in the Philippine Star today (September 23, 2011). My intro was cut for space considerations; the full version appears below:
It’s here! Rakenrol, the much-anticipated new film by boyishly brilliant writer/director Quark Henares, began its theatrical run in local cinemas last September 21. Telling a funny, heartfelt, affecting tale of friendship and love (and the occasional child star) through the members of a dream-stricken young rock band, it was inspired by the experiences of Quark and co-writer Diego Castillo in the local rock scene.
Both Diego and Quark were deeply involved (through radio, their bands, music videos, writing, and just all-around moral support) in the last resurgence of Pinoy rock — an era that can be traced roughly from the early 2000s to at least 2006, or, as some might argue, until now.
This is our celebration of that time — and of the labor of love that is Rakenrol, a coming-of-age film years in the making: our picks for the best songs of the Rakenrol era.
8 chosen by Erwin
8 chosen by me
That was the summer that Sky kissed me: a summer of mixtapes, last full shows, and handed-over postcards. Sky’s writing was so small that she could—and did—fit such things as minute-by-minute accounts of a Holy Week provincial morning, the first chapter of a never-finished novel, or a hundred made-up commandments, into a single rectangular side.
Living in the limbo between barely-met thesis deadlines and uncertain employment, we would all meet up on campus, under Diliman trees, out of habit and convenience. Diego would bring his Volkswagen Combi, and we would drive around, arguing and laughing and trying to beat Diego to the punchlines of his own horrible jokes, and failing.
Thank God the Combi didn’t have a stereo, or we would have killed each other trying to play what we wanted. Myla was into show tunes that summer, clinging to her college-long fling with musical theater while headed for a career in banking. Emil was into acoustic indie, “the sound of two soft voices blended in perfection.” Ron-ron would have insisted on hip-hop, and worse, he would have insisted on rapping along; Jay-Z or Common sound fine on their own, but with Ron2 shadowing their rhymes, their style would have been irrevocably cramped.
Sky and I had been rediscovering the 80s. I had just made her a mixtape that was all Smiths songs on one side and all The Cure on the other. She was in the process, she told me, of playing it to death.
Diego would have thrown us all out and cranked up his heavy metal. He was all for vulgar displays of power.
The postcards were Sky’s idea. She and I would exchange them at the beginning of these barkada sojourns, and if the others thought it strange or sappy, they never commented to that effect. It was funny how we managed to fill the cards up despite all the hours we already spent with each other on the phone, filling each other in on our inner lives. I would write stream-of-consciousness crap, future scenarios involving dream jobs, quotes from short stories.
We parked the Combi under the stars one time, when Emil, our resident amateur astronomer, insisted that it would be a good night for wishes. We lay down on some spread-out blankets and counted falling stars while sipping on vodka concoctions disguised in fruit juice containers. At some point while Ron and Myla were trading lines from “Rent” and Emil and Diego were discussing starting a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Sky and I huddled on the roof of the Combi and she and I sang Just Like Heaven together—really softly, because we both suck at singing—and then she looked at me and kissed me.
Memory is an odd thing. I wish I could remember every detail of those days and nights. The postcards are an ever-regenerating surprise: the times I come across them—usually years apart—while once again attempting organization, they tell me of things I barely remember but gladly relive.
I don’t see any of the old gang these days, though none of them are dead. We were never as close as we were that summer, before or since. I think Diego, much to everyone’s astonishment, got married. I think Myla and Emil have kids, though not with each other. Our fishball afternoons and late-night talks and early morning staggers home have blended into one vaguely fond memory. Aside from that, and the postcards and the mixtapes and the kiss, I wonder what I’ve lost.
Sky gave me a mixtape before she left for Australia, never (though we didn’t know it at the time) to return. It was predominantly Everything but the Girl, and had Mirrorball, Talk to Me Like the Sea, and We Walk the Same Line on it.
Random Harlot Encounters.
From the mind of Gary Gygax (R.I.P.). Article here.
THESE ARE THE FIVE MAJOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR A MANGA ARTIST AND A MAN!
We’ll be there. And so should anyone else who ever enjoyed a free Meiday gig, or just anyone who appreciates Mei’s music-loving spirit, or just our music scene in general — and Mei herself, of course.
Hoping all goes well. :)
I am throwing an emergency Meiday fundraiser gig on October 7 BSIDE because my health condition has gone from bad to alarming and I need to undergo surgery. Because I still want that sort of Meiday party spirit, I am pushing the venue not to charge door entrance this time, but we’ll be passing the hat for any amount of donations you might want to give an ailing girl with a big heart LOL. I’m also asking everyone to buy a Miss Meiday shirt by Rob Cham as another way to help out. I am asking this because I am on my own with this operation as I have no parents to pay for the whole thing blah-blah drama and I still really want to party and not become a vegetable. So please, come and show your love and support on Friday, October 7.
Good music. :) Press play.
a new song/musical project i’ve been working on! give ‘er a listen!
oh yeah btw:
foto by joseph guanlao
"Gallery 263 is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Pep Manalang, featuring a series of abstract paintings created during a year in the Midwest. Manalang moved with her husband from Rochester, NY to a small town in western Illinois. The vast landscapes and isolated region of the Midwest come through in Manalang’s compositions. Vibrant colors are sequestered by cool tones and hard contours. Organic marks overlap flat plains of color—a combination of structure and spontaneous gesture reflect her surrounding environment and the unconscious reactions of the artist.”