Classic Rivermaya Members Sans Bamboo Perfroms at 19 East

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It’s a long way but from a simple jamming of Rivermaya here up to this very point.

Going to 19 East Bar and Grill wasn’t easy last night, Hellish traffic, the faulty Google Maps pointed us in some dark, scary shit looking factory (the one you see in movies where the bad guys transact some shady business) and my supposed fear of toll gates according to my friends (Jaypee and Ralph). We really thought that we are lost and we are deciding to spend the night drinking to some resto or bar and go home and sleep. But NO. Thanks to our strong will to see the original members of Rivermaya play, some stroke of dumb luck because Google Maps suddenly fixed itself for some odd reason and with the help of good ol’ asking directions to some locals there, we made it to 19 East.

“Takot ka sa toll gate tol?” Yeah right. haha I’m thinking “Mahal kasi bayad sa toll gate eh, and we are running on tight budget.”  Medyo tama sila.. takot ako sa toll gate, magastos eh. kaya nga may service road.

We arrived there an hour early and the guy on the entrance said that they will start letting people in after 30 mins. The line was not long when we got there, so we decided to grab food in the nearest convenience store and light up some cigarrettes. Napasobra kami sa kwentuhan at yosi sa convenience store. Punyeta! Balik kaagad sa 19 East.

When we got back, the line was already freaking long. And when we got inside the bar, the bar was already full and luckily we are able to get a table for our self, close to the entrance and not the best spot but that would really do and we would kill for that spot if we have to.

And then they are starting to show up. First was Perfecto De Castro, the maestro in the flesh. The man who made the reunion possible.  The lead guitarist of the original Rivermaya lineup. One of my guitar heroes.

Fanboy mode : ON

Donning a black Kurosaki Ichigo T-shirt. Perf was the man of the hour, a lot of people crowding around him asking to have a photo with him and he was very accommodating to us, Great guy.  He reminds us of our officemate/friend Edward, they are look alike (in our opinion) though Perf was much more taller than Edward (peace ward!)

Then Nathan Azarcon caught our eyes, taking to some fans and taking pictures with them. We approached him and the first thing he said once he saw me is “Uy si Emerson to ah, kumusta?” (Hey, Emerson! what’s up?) stunned, the only thing came out of my mouth was “hehe” while shaking hands with him. Sir Nates and I are friends for sometime in Facebook, A surreal moment for me,  he’s now talking with me in person. We talked like we were old friends.

“Shit, kinakabahan ako.” said Sir Nathan.

“Huh? Parang bago ka naman ng bago sa ganito ser ah? hahaha!” I replied.

“Hindi, kasi ngayon ko lang ulit tu-tugtugin yung mga piyesa namin sa maya.” rubbing off  the sweat from his forehead and worrying what’s gonna happen.

“Ahh. Hindi ba ayun yung nire-rehearse ninyo kanina lang sa stage?” I said.

“Oo, pero di ako handa hahahaha!” he said.

“Kaya mo yan, piyesa ninyo yan imposibleng hindi mo maalala hahaha” I said.

Worrying on how would the gig turn out because he hasn’t played Rivermaya songs for a long time. After the long chat, we shake hands, took some photos together, he go back to his buddies and we go back to our spot inside the bar.

Mark Escueta the birthday boy is with his wife Jolina Magdangal (still beautiful as ever) and their child. Enjoying talking to each other, taking pictures with the fans. Mike Elgar and Ryan Peralta, the current lineup of Rivermaya is also present in the event. God, I forgot to take pictures with them! There will be next time!


While the happening outside the bar is awesome, inside the bar, Kontra is already rocking the housewith their music. Kontra is consist of Francis Aquino on drums and vocals, Mon Legaspi on bass and vocals, Armand Quimpo on guitars, Jeyvi Castillo on guitars and vocals.

Then after the rocking performance of Kontra, Perf enters the stage at last.

Perf De Castro performing with Kontra

Perf De Castro performing with Kontra

Sir Perf’s guitar skills were amazing as ever, trance-inducing vibe. Indeed he is the maestro. Perf De Castro also called Elmo Magalona for a tribute for the late Philippine King of Rap, The Mouth, Francis Magalona. They played Love of Lyf, Jolog and Kaleidoscope World. Every riffs of each songs makes me feel like Francis M. is with us that night.


Perf, Elmo Magalona and Mon Legaspi

Perf, Elmo Magalona and Mon Legaspi

Rico Blanco was the last to arrive. Fans were like bees swarming around him, and hell, we were unable to take a picture with him. Ralph and I decided not to take pictures of him because he was a busy man that moment, taking to his friends, former band mates and he was constantly swarmed by the fans.

Rico, Mark and Nathan chatting together

Rico, Mark and Nathan chatting together

While the fans are going gaga outside the bar because of Rico’s arrival, Triaxis started playing and man, it was great, together with Wendel Garcia and King Baldoz.

Perf and Baldo

Perf and Baldo

After the set of Triaxis, the moment of truth arrives. The big white projector screen serves as a curtain goes down. Perf, Nathan,Mark and Rico starts to come stage and preparing their gears before going into battle. The cheers of the audience is all you can hear inside the bar. At long last… Even though Bamboo Mañalac is not around, the dream is coming to life. All of the fans of Rivermaya have been dreaming and waiting for years is finally here. I feel 21 years younger, It was 1994 all over again.  When the white projector screen rise up, screams of fans flooded the bar, flash of cameras are raining down on them. There they are, in the flesh and about to start their set.

Nathan, Mark, Perf and Rico together again in one stage.

Nathan, Mark, Perf and Rico together again in one stage.

The setlist

  • Ground
  • Gravity
  • 214
  • Kisapmata
  • Ulan
  • Himala
  • Beep Beep cover by Juan Dela Cruz
  • Awit ng Kabataan

There are funny moments when Sir Nates worries come to life as he forgot some of the chords, but his buddies helped him by signaling and showing him the chords as they play. After one number, they told the audience that they didn’t have any proper rehearsal and they only met at 19 East. The hell if they mess up with the chords, it’s their own songs anyway! Props to Sir Nates and his bass playing skills! You’re the man and your new Warwick!!

After their set is over, the crowd is cheering “We want more!” wanting to them have an encore. But it never happened. The dream is finally over. No encore, just smiles and high fives as they exit the bar.

Outside, we had the chance to take pictures with them, and sadly Rico was surrounded again by tons of fans and we got zero hopes of getting a picture with him. Maybe next time…. next time.

To Sir Perf De Castro, Mark Escueta, Nathan Azarcon and Rico Blanco, Thank you guys for giving us, the fans this wonderful night. We really had fun watching you play together after a long time. Hopefully we can see more of you playing together in the future and hopefully Bamboo is with you next time you play together.

May kasalanan ako sa inyo. Isa ako sa mga nag re-record ng video habang nanunuod sa inyo. Napanuod ko kayo ng live pero, gusto ko sanang ulit-ulitin panuorin yung moment na iyon in the future.. Para din siguro sa mga hindi nakapanuod ng gig ninyo kaya ako nag record. True, nakakainis nga talaga na makita yung karamihan ng dumalo na may naka angat na cellphone at camera habang kayo ay nag pe-perform, panira ng moment. Sorry for that, we know that this is once in a blue moon na gig ng classic Rivermaya kaya nilubos na namin. Sorry.

This is one of the best night of my life. Something na hindi ko maipagpapalit sa kahit gaanong kalaking yaman,one of the moments that I will treasure till my last breath. Salamat sa inyo Rivermaya!

Here are some of the photos of the Rivermaya Gig last January 9, 2016.

Note: Sa mga photo grabbers ng interwebs, sige kunsensya ninyo naman yan. Pero pakiusap paki lagyan ng tamang credits ang may-ari ng pictures, common courtesy ang tawag dun mga Sir at Ma’am. Pero kung katigasan ng mukha ang paiiralin at lalagyan ninyo pa ng sarili ninyong watermark ang mga imahe at aangkinin ninyo, aba eh low-res naman yan, nasa akin pa din naman ang original na hi-res copy ng mga yan. nakakababoy kasi ang watermark sa itsura ng images kaya hindi ako nag lalagay. Special case yung mga artist na nasa pictures they can even ask me for the high-res of the images and I will gladly give it to them for free. 🙂




Callalily ‘dances’ to a new tune



Celebrating 10 years in the business, rock band Callalily is ready to offer a new sound to their followers and music fans – an upbeat, indie-sounding latest single “Now, I’m Dancing.”

“As a band, we continue to experiment. We started creating music since more than a decade ago, and our music grow with us,” says lead vocalist Kean Cipriano. “But we still remain true to our stories.”

The single “Now, I’m Dancing” speaks of the band’s current status – happy and thankful.

Kean also expresses gratitude to all their fans for allowing them to last this long in a very fickle industry.

“Now, I’m Dancing” will be part of an upcoming 10th anniversary album.

Kean assures fans that the upcoming album will be the most personal, collaborative album of the band.

“Maraming first dun sa lalabas na album,” shares Kean. “Basta, maririnig ng lahat sa kanta naming how tighter we are as a group, as friends.”

Last July 28, Callalily topbilled a special show at 12 Monkeys as part of their 10th anniversary celebration, where some of the songs from the upcoming album were first performed.

“Now I’m Dancing” is now available for download on iTunes, Deezer, Spinnr, Amazon.

Gloc-9, Universal Records lead this year’s Awit Awards winners

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Universal Records nabbed numerous commendations from the recently-concluded 2014 Awit Awards, held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World, with Gloc-9 winning most of the major awards – Album of the year for “Lihim at Liham,” Song of the Year for “Magda,” Best Rap Recording, and Best Collaboration.

Asia’s Songbird received two awards for Best Inspirational Song for “Nathaniel,” and Best Christmas Recording for “Hele Ni Inay.” These songs are part of the album “Hulong Ka Ng Langit,” which won Best Album Packaging Award.

Sam Concepcion won Best Dance Recording for the carrier single of his “Infinite” album – “No Limitations.”

PhilPop entries also made it to this year’s roster of winners – “Papel” and “Pansamantagal” won  Novelty, and World Music Recording of the Year, respectively.


Here is the list of Universal Records winners from the 27th Awit Awards:

Best Collaboration

Song Title: Magda
Artist: Gloc 9 feat. Rico Blacno
Record Label: Universal Records Inc

Album of the Year

Song Title: Liham at Lihim
Artist: Gloc 9
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Song of the Year

Song Title: Magda
Artist: Gloc 9 feat. Rico Blanco
Record Label: Universal Records Inc

Best Dance Recording

Song Title: No Limitations
Artist: Sam Concepcion
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Best Inspirational/Religious Recording

Song Title: Nathaniel
Artist: Regine Velasquez-Alcasid
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Best Christmas Recording

Song Title: Hele Ni Inay
Artist: Regine Velasquez-Alcasid
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Best Rap Recording

Song Title: Magda
Artist: Gloc 9
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Best Musical Arrangement

Song Title: Hele Ni Inay
Artist: Homer Flores
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Best Album Package

Album Title: Hulog Ka Ng Langit
Artists: Jay Saturnino D. Lumboy & Anne Kate Piñero (Graphic Desigers); Jay Saturnino D. Lumboy (Album Concept); Mark Nicdao (Photography)
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc.

Best World Music Recording

Song Title: Pansamantagal
Artist: Sitti Navarro & Julianne Tarroja
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Best Novelty Recording

Song Title: Papel
Artist: Joey Ayala & Gloc 9 feat. Denise Barbacena
Record Label: Universal Records, Inc

Universal Records’ Kathleen Go is an Entrepreneur of Passion



Universal Records Managing Director Kathleen Dy-Go, over the years, has successfully prepared the country’s biggest independent record label to withstand the challenges of the ever-changing landscape of the local recording industry.

Because of this achievement, Joey Concepcion’s GoNegosyo has named Kathleen as one of the 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion. Her story is included in a special limited edition book with the subtitle “How Big Dreams and Good Ideas Became Great Businesses.”

In the commemorative book, Kathleen recalled how Universal Records have readied itself in the evolution of music formats in the country – from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to digital.

Kathleen also admitted that this inescapable evolution is really challenging, but according to her, one truth keeps her faith in the industry – “Music will never disappear and Filipinos will always be music lovers.”

She further adds, “We (in Universal Records) will always be here to service their needs, and at the same time discover and support great talents in OPM.”

With Kathleen’s supervision and guidance, Universal Records is the record label of OPM superstars like Gary Valenciano, Parokya Ni Edgar, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Gloc-9, Christian Bautista, Noel Cabangon, Sponge Cola, Sam Concepcion, Callalily, Kamikazee, Kuh Ledesma, among others.

Aside from her engagements as Managing Director of Universal Records, Kathleen is also busy helping Immaculate Conception Academy, her alma mater, and Xavier School in their various projects.

Christian Bautista’s new album Soundtrack zooms to top of charts on first week of release

christian bautista

Christian Bautista’s new album Soundtrack zooms to top of charts on first week of release. Christian Bautista’s much-awaited album Soundtrack immediately snatched the top spot in music charts, only a week after its release. Christian had a super successful album launches over the weekend – Eastwood, and Market Market. Soundtrack, Christian’s first album in two years, includes memorable theme songs from the most romantic movies of all time. The album’s first single Up Where We Belong, the theme from the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” has already been chosen by GMA as the theme of its newest koreanovela “Empress Ki. Christian also bared his heart in his rendition of “A Thousand Years,” theme of the phenomenal hit movie series “Twilight.”
He also showed his edgier side in “Kiss From A Rose,” theme from “Batman Forever.” Christian also tapped some of the best female singers to collaborate with him. Former sweetheart Rachelle Ann Go joins him in their rendition of “The Way We Were.” Perennial stage leading lady Karylle performs the romantic “After All” with Christian. This is the first time the two performed a studio duet together. Julie Ann San Jose and Christian went “Cruisin’” in a new duet, while Nikki Gil lent her beautiful voice in the duet “Come What May.” The press conference of “Soundtrack” is supported by Swatch, Kopiko Café Blanca, Ever Bilena, and Livestock Restaurant and Bar.

Christian Bautista: SoundTrack

1. Come What May (duet with Nikki Gil)

2. Up Where We Belong

3. How Deep Is Your Love

4. When You Say Nothing At All

5. After All (duet with Karylle)

6. A Thousand Years

7. Cruisin’ (duet with Julie Ann San Jose)

8. Way Back Into Love

9. Love Is All Around

10. The Way We Were

11. Kiss From A Rose

12. Unchained Melody
Bonus Track

13. Seasons of Love (Theme from the series of the same title)

Christian Bautista celebrates birthday, sings theme of new GMA series

christian bautista


Asia’s Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista, who is celebrated his birthday last October 19, has been tapped by GMA to sing the theme of the Kapuso Network’s biggest Korean series “Empress Ki.” The series’ theme song is “Up Where We Belong,” a cut from the soon-to-be-released album of Christian under Universal Records entitled “Soundtrack.”

The series will start airing  October 20 2014, on GMA Telebabad. The series is reminiscent of GMA hit Korean dramas like “Jewel in the Palace.”

Currently, Christian is busy taping for the primetime series “Strawberry Lane,” hosting “Marian,” and performing on “Sunday All Stars.”

Next month, Christian will launch his newest album “Soundtrack,” which contains memorable themes from the most romantic films of all time. He will be joined by some of the hottest female recording artists in the album.

Gloc-9 and Vinci Montaner drop some dancing in “Businessman”

Gloc 9 businessman

Anyone who has watched Gloc-9 at a live gig would know that one of the most well-received songs that get audiences on their feet is one of his oldest, telling us all to move our bodies and dance, to lighten the load of life.

On his 17th year in the music business, and after seven full length all-original albums, Gloc-9 goes back to some dance rap, bringing with him Vinci Montaner of Parokya Ni Edgar. Montaner has taken a breather from band life, but said yes to “Businessman,” a dance tune that speaks of an uncanny love between a rich girl and a poor boy, and how this difference is bound by nation that allows this disparity.

The rest of the song speaks of the unbelievable breadth of the girl’s wealth, with rooms full of money that isn’t counted and wallets are only for one thousand bills, where cars are a plenty and food is laid out on the dining table like there’s always a party. The girl is does not question how this money is earned, and where it comes from – her father is in a business that earns them billions.

In that world where everything’s served her on a silver platter, this girl wishes for what she has not experienced: to ride public transport and get her hands on some change, to try doing the laundry. The boy is enamored with her, surprised at the everyday things the girl wants to experience, where the things that are new to her is a way of life for him.

Yet “Businessman” is no easy love song, as it is one that’s layered with such a huge disparity between the rich girl and poor boy, that one can only wonder: what business is the girl’s father in, that allows him such wealth?

“Businessman” is part of Gloc-9’s DVD release “Biyahe ng Pangarap” to premier in November.