October 6-12

The music of rock icon Binky Lampano brings back my gypsy teen years, and therefore, part of my life's soundtrack. I instantly liked Hallelujah I Just Loved Her So when I first heard it in the 90s. "Let me tell you 'bout the girl I know...!" Then there's Buhay Looban, a vivid, typical morning inside a slum area, complete with housewives gossiping and a guy borrowing a tabloid so he'll have something to "trip on" inside the john. I first heard them in LA105, the (sadly) now-defunct radio station that actively promoted "alternative" music, like songs from Joey Ayala and Grace Nono, which weren't given enough airplay in mainstream stations. So I was really happy when I saw Binky, in tux and sneakers, rock the stage during the 25th anniversarry of the TV Patrol evening news, telecast live on Aug. 6, 2012 on ABS-CBN. It's electrifying to see Binky Lampano with Basti Astadi of Wolfgang and rock god Pepe Smith of Juan De La Cruz, with a live band and a full orchestra conducted by living legend "Maestro" Ryan Cayabyab, in an unforgettable live performance, a head-banging celebration of original Filipino rock music!

I always enjoy watching Goin’ Bulilit. Tough luck I don't get to watch it often, though, because it would add a lot more laughter to my already happy life. It's a gag show with talented child actors doing the skits. I caught some scenes from the Aug. 19, 2012 episode. Here are some that I remember. A boy complains that people call him ugly, and his mother consoled him: "Don't you know that beauty is inside? So you better stay inside!" A guy goes to store with the sign "E-load Available Here," asks the girl in a store if she has prepaid load, and when she said yes, he said: "Can I borrow your phone to text?" A short documentary promotes the Anti-Epal Bill, which would ban politicians from plastering their names and faces everywhere (which 2Rivers supports), then it turns out to be a "friendly reminder" informercial from a mayor! A broadcast journalist reports on the conditions inside a relief shelter, and all the refugees swoop down on him because he was so noisy. "This is Abner Mechado!" he signs off, spoofing Abner Mercado of the investigative show Krusada. "And this is my Kursunada!"

I heard for the first time the newly-released All In Your Name, exclusively aired in the Philippines by RJ 100 FM, on Sept. 5, 2012. The song is written and performed by Barry Gibb of The Beegees and the late King of Pop Michael Jackson. I like it very much; a great song, really positive and inspirational. Goes something like: "But what is my life worth, if I don't believe that there's someone to watch me follow my dreams, take my chances, like those who dared..."

Michael Enslin (John Cusack) is a paranormal investigator who doesn't believe in ghosts. Besides, he says, there's no God who protects us from them, anyway. He checks-in at the notoriously haunted Room 1408 of a hotel in New York, a city of painful memories because that's where his daughter died. But the hotel manager, Owen (Samuel Jackson) emphatically warns him not to. More than fifty people have died there, and everyone else couldn't stay for even an hour. It's not a phantom, he says, it's "a fucking evil room!" I saw this on DVD, alone in the dark, headsets pounding. I couldn't stand it. Had to turn on the light. It's probably the scariest film I ever saw. Just when his mind is about to snap from extreme fright, Enslin realizes it's all a bad dream. "Do people die in nightmares?" he said rhetorically into his voice recorder. Life goes on. One day in sunny California, he sees the hotel staff at the Hermosa beach post office. They began destroying the place. Then suddenly, Michael is back in Room 1408. It isn't a dream.


"Magmula nung akoy natutong umawit, naging makulay ang aking munting daigdig..." [FB Via SMART SMS Nov. 27, 2012]

"...bawat sandali aking pilit mabatid...!" Huggybear's blog 2Rivers is a celebration of Pinoy pop culture. This Ryan Cayabyab musical masterpiece, performed by Hajji Alejandro, is the winner of the first Metropop songwriting competition in 1974 and the anthem of original Filipino music. "Kay ganda ng ating musika, ito ay atin, sariling atin, at sa habambuhay awitin natin..."