she was performing a set, she’d dedicate a song to him, and sometimes, the waves actually would come. I recount this to her, and she blushes. “I guess that also drives me. (laughs) Crazy, but um, he taught me how to surf, and I also made a song about him recently on his ukelele, so I performed it live. It’s like, I don’t know, just going with the flow, and meeting people and then you grow with them, as well. “I found myself in Baler painting on surfboards, creating more music, and it’s just healthy because you can wake up, (head to the) beach or a mountain if you want, and eat fresh food that they just caught, like, fish. And I want that lifestyle. It makes me think about how people do the whole, like, try to get more money, more money, more money, so they can get more things, more things, more things! But then they find, like, (they don’t) really actually truly know themselves and, like, (are) just not fulfilled. And I feel like I know how that feels. So I actually like how everything is so random and magical in nature and how that is invigorating than stuff, I guess.” She isn’t actively trying to knock on consumerism or capitalism; it’s just that coming from America, the land of bulk-buying and upsizing, the simplicity of people here in the province was what struck her most. “I used to go shopping a lot in Dallas. And I just realized—I think it was also being broke here in the Philippines—it kind of made me just not care about a lot of things, and care about things that I feel like do matter, like people here and how you just need food and shelter.” I understand more where June is coming from when she introduces us to her friend Wilson, a selfdescribed “boatman, surfer, whatever,” who lives in Pundaquit with his buddies in a tiny farm marked by nothing more than a small hut for cooking, another hut for the bathroom, and, in the center and uncovered save for a large tree, wooden benches crawling with big, red ants, a large table, and a hammock. When the rain started to pour in the middle of our shoot, Wilson offers us the larger hut while he and his crew giddily huddle under a table and pass a joint. Later, as he reclines on his hammock, he jokes about how hard life is without a real job, waking up everyday to go surfing, and just hanging out with his friends. Because we are too far from our resort and the rain won’t let up, we skip lunch. We’ve been stuck in Wilson’s farm until past 3 p.m. when one of his friends approaches us with a pot filled with boiled kamoteng kahoy that they grew themselves on the farm. Not knowing that we had skipped a meal, Wilson’s crew couldn’t have known how grateful we were for the gesture. It reminds me of when our parents say something along the lines of, “Look at the province! The people there have nothing, while you have so much,” whenever we whine about something trivial. And yet they don’t really mean to just look, because when we find ourselves in vacation spots like Tagaytay, Batangas, or Bicol, we pass by these people and all we do is look. And because we don’t do more than look, we don’t realize what they have to offer us. Later, Wilson shows us the beachfront property where he is a caretaker. There is a tree house there that he’s been trying to build with the neighborhood kids,
but because of a shortage of funds and time, it’s still unfinished. Down below is a small hut with a long table where we gather, and as Wilson starts folding up a hammock and handing it to June, I realize that this is the place she has spent the previous night. Not in some gated resort, but in a real home occupied by real people—her people. I ask her if Baler is the place that she wants to settle into, since she mentioned an artist residency there that she was interested in applying for, but she says that she hasn’t figured it out. “Another project that I want is to have a bahay kubo, and then have self-sustaining energy, so I can make music and then drop it online and then just eat from the fruits and then live that way really simply. But if someone wants to fly me out and have me for a festival, I’m honestly gonna be like, ‘You gotta pay me a lot to make me leave this paradise!’” she says. Then she rethinks her plan out loud, probably disoriented from the smoke Wilson and co. blew her way. “But I want it to be portable too, because I can’t stay still, so I’d probably have it on a cart and I’ll just drive it around like an RV. I also want an artist village with me and my friends. That is the goal, if I don’t end up touring around. “If I do tour…It’s a good experience, but I already feel like I know what I want, which is to stay here and make that happen. But at the same time, it’s an opportunity. I don’t know if these are just people in my head or if it really is an opportunity, just going off the trodden path and staying and making music in an artist village. It’s not the norm because what’s perceived as ‘successful’ is like, going out, I guess. But I really just want the bahay kubo. (laughs) But how am I gonna get that? I guess I should just go on tour and save up for it, in that case.” If her dilemma on whether to tour or not gives you any inkling about the status of her next album, then yes, that also seems to be up in the air. “I am preparing for just creating and not caring about what’s going to happen to it, because I feel like it’s more pure that way. You just compile it later because they’re just two different states of mind, like creating and analyzing. With upcoming projects, I have a lot, that’s all I can say. I have a lot for the next two or three years, and I can’t really say what’s coming up for real for real because it’s not set in stone as well, and I don’t want to be like, ‘I’m doing this’ and I don’t do it. “My sanity comes from just going with the flow and being okay with the uncertainty of everything, so that’s what’s keeping me intact among all these choices,” she concludes. Later on at dinner, as the pizza dwindles at our table and I decide to order additional plates of pasta, June’s beer remains untouched. She’s still staring at the menu, which is printed on our placemats, and she wonders aloud what an Orange Mocha Freeze tastes like. As I’m asking for the check, the caffeinated ice-blended drink plops down beside her beer, which she then offers to our photographer Geric Cruz. She’s going to be drinking for her birthday anyway, she says, which is just a couple of hours away. Finally, she takes a sip.
“That's why I wanna come out here to nature, away from the city. I need to come out here and clear out my head because there's too much noise and too many things to do that (we think_) are important, but really aren't."
Scout Magazine | scoutmag.ph | 29
Scout 3.indb 29
9/22/2014 12:03:49 PM
Published on Sep 1, 2014
Published on Sep 1, 2014
Scrappy. Creative. Curious. These are the words that describe Scout, the only free publication designed for millennials that focuses on the...