Category Archives: tugtugan

Friday ∗ 16 Jun 2017

Death of culture (3): Lizaso’s vision for stagnation

The shameless conservatism in Nick Lizaso’s press release about his plans and vision for the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), is ironic when one considers that we have a President who questions Catholicism and dogmatism time and again, and who insists on his freedom of speech – if not his freedom to offend – over and over. President Duterte unilaterally installed Lizaso as CCP head. But even the President himself would not pass the rules and regulations that Lizaso… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 12 Jun 2017

Death of culture (2): Cultish leadership for CCP

President Duterte’s installation of Nick Lizaso as head of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is painfully ironic – if not dangerously so. On the one hand, it is clear that this President doesn’t care much about culture, so one wonders why he would appoint any of his men to these cultural leadership positions. On the other, one can see this as a statement in itself about what Duterte thinks about culture: anyone can lead it, never mind that… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 04 Jan 2016

15 from 2015: kultura

I wasn’t very good at doing arts and culture in the country the past year. But here’s a list of the strange, the good, the surprising in culture for 2015, not at all a best or worst list because … see the first sentence. First a critical aside: having worked as dramaturg for Kleptomaniacs and a bit with Tanghalang Pilipino in 2014 meant keeping the theater reviews to a minimum in 2015. I needed that time to let go of the little inside stories that I know,… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 27 Aug 2015

Women. Freedom. Rakenrol.*

Tres Marias made up of Bayang Barrios, Cookie Chua and Lolita Carbon will be having a concert at the Music Museum on September 4, Friday. I have no idea what it’s going to be like, but having seen these women on stage, and reading this piece from 2012, tells me it’s going to be quite a show. Click here for tickets! It would’ve been a random night over at 70’s Bistro, though it was so wrong to even imagine that to be… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 01 Dec 2014

review: on ICON the concert

RadikalChika kicked-off with a review of ICON the concert, with Rico Blanco, Gloc-9, and Yeng Constantino. :) Photos here and with the column by Martin San Diego as provided by Thea G. Pollisco.

Wednesday ∗ 26 Nov 2014

the last of kolchor for 2014

the days have been long, though filled with too many things happening, and certainly even more happening in the shadows, beyond public scrutiny: this is the Philippines after all. so first a list, because there is also quite a lot of work to do, but also there is so much to talk about, and i feel like the three people who read this blog (haha!) might be wondering where i am, why so silent. well here i am. 

Thursday ∗ 04 Sep 2014

No Junk In This Trunk*

Because there is plenty here that works: from the funky music to the fantastic lyrics, dramatic situations and imagery so vivid, emotions so raw it can only be yours. I knew it when I heard “Kapit Mahal” via Billy B.’s now-defunct UR radio show, but I know it even more now: that was no fluke. Top Junk released its indie debut last year, but I count it as one of my early 2011 finds, literally: I bought it at Route… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 21 Jul 2014

Kleptomaniacs*

I tend to imagine that these times of political and socio-economic crises demand of creative work an amount of relevance, where it is easy to pinpoint films and TV shows and writing that tends towards escapism, refusing to speak of issues that are urgent and important. But escapism is also exactly what we need in times like these, when only the wealthy minority can live oblivious to the rising cost of basic goods and the utter lack of public services,… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 08 Feb 2014

the anxiety of rain: on Rak Of Aegis

It was difficult to imagine a musical that could use Aegis’s diverse discography, one that spans 15 years of the band’s existence, and seven albums. From posters and press releases it was clear that PETA’s Rak Of Aegis was using the song “Basang-basa sa Ulan” as center, with the obvious premise of … uh … rain to tell what would be a painfully contemporary story for nation. It was difficult to be optimistic, but it sure was easy to get… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 20 Nov 2013

si Andres Bonifacio

a fantastic reminder for this time when we are allowed to imagine that the only way to go is to have America save us.

Thursday ∗ 06 Jun 2013

on Charice

I have nothing but love for Charice. No, I am no fan really, but I find it infinitely interesting when popular culture icons give their mass audience the unexpected or taboo, or something difficult to talk about, something against what we know to be proper or consider as important.

Friday ∗ 01 Feb 2013

Where’d your glam rock go?

As it turns out, nowhere. On an otherwise regular Friday night this single girl would find herself in a non-descript bar on the Fort Strip – the most recent incarnation of which has less of the sosy clubbing crowd, thank goodness. The years might have taught me of the need to dress appropriately for certain spaces, but adulthood has made me more stubborn about being myself too, especially for a night when all I need is a round or two… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 19 Oct 2012

Mario O’Hara’s swan song

is about you and me, culture and nation, desire and disappearance. please go see it.

Saturday ∗ 01 Sep 2012

Some wishin’ for original Pinoy music and musikero*

I’m a fan of original Pinoy music, always have been, and I grew with a Kuya who spent good money on cassette tapes of The Dawn and Neo Colours, Gary V. and Randy Santiago, Ogie Alcasid and Francis Magalona. I was enamoured with Smokey Mountain, loved “Ryan Ryan Musikahan,” and thought the world of Ryan Cayabyab. When Kuya left for Holland, he’d come home to buy every local CD he could get, rip them and leave most of them with… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 28 Aug 2012

buddha blues you, baby!

Jun Lopito’s launching a new album tomorrow at B-Side! :) because OPM ain’t dead. and neither is pinoy (pop) culture. and unless you are, i’ll see you tomorrow!

Notes on OPM: Lea & Anne, and the curse of celebrity

Because it was waiting to happen, wasn’t it, where the industry of show is finally called out for creating the monster of the talentless making money out of singing. Of course this isn’t new: many a-non-singer have signed record deals, and we’ve talked about them before. But what is different about Anne Curtis is not just that she is a non-singer, it’s that she can’t even carry a tune, and yet she’s got a CD and a sold-out Araneta Coliseum… Continue reading »

Notes on OPM: Music by the tingi

The question of supporting Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is one that isn’t simple anymore, not in these times when cultural systems are so intricately intertwined, and television networks and cultural empires are kings. In this series I look at contemporary Pinoy music’s production(s) and unpack the contradictions and discriminations inherent in, and the context(s) crucial to, the fight for OPM as we know it. In the book Culture and History first published in 1988, National Artist Nick Joaquin asserts in… Continue reading »

Notes on OPM: Re-considering pop

The question of supporting Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is one that isn’t simple anymore, not in these times when cultural systems are so intricately intertwined, and television networks and cultural empires are kings. In this series I look at contemporary Pinoy music’s production(s) and unpack the contradictions and discriminations inherent in, and the context(s) crucial to, the fight for OPM as we know it. It is often said: Original Pilipino Music (OPM) needs more support because it is suffering in… Continue reading »

Notes on OPM: the fact of celebrity

The question of supporting Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is one that isn’t simple anymore, not in these times when cultural systems are so intricately intertwined, and television networks and cultural empires are kings. In this series I look at contemporary Pinoy music’s production(s) and unpack the contradictions and discriminations inherent in, and the context(s) crucial to, the fight for OPM as we know it. We say it often, and truth to tell in these shores it is true: many of… Continue reading »

Notes on OPM: The reality talent sings

The question of supporting Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is one that isn’t simple anymore, not in these times when cultural systems are so intricately intertwined, and television networks and cultural empires are kings. In this series I look at contemporary Pinoy music’s production(s) and unpack the contradictions and discriminations inherent in, and the context(s) crucial to, the fight for OPM as we know it. The reality show seems far off from a discussion on Original Pilipino Music (OPM), but anyone… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 27 Jun 2012

cynthia and the narrative of leaving

which is to say there are many reasons for Cynthia Alexander’s leaving for Seattle. none of them is about the lack of support for her music in these shores. this short essay responds mostly to the Francis Brew piece, which painted a narrative that actually made it seem like Cynthia was upping and leaving, complaining and whining, about nation. all untrue.

Wednesday ∗ 22 Feb 2012

on Lirio Salvador’s “Sandata”

two sadnesses must be invoked: one that this talented sound | installation artist has been in a coma since the end of 2011, when he fell victim to a hit-and-run incident. the other is that this short review will not do justice to his work, soundless as this is, strange as it seemed to me to have to take videos of work that required i strum my fingers through string and touch balls. yes, it’s as fun and strange as… Continue reading »

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