THE QUEEN TALKS ABOUT MEIDAY AND WHAT COMES AFTER THE LAST ONE + Nico Puertollano Similar Objects June Marieezy Subspace Coffee Shop Bjorn Bedayo Vince Crisostomo
After existing so long, there will be a point in your life where you realize that every single memory has a theme song. You went through different stages of your life listening to that one band who never fails to sympathize and translate your feelings into actual words. The strangest thing I have realized through music is that listening to sad songs will make you more miserable, and with that misery comes a great comfort afterwards. It’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after the rain after a season of draught. If not for that one Bon Iver song you listen to when you are sad or that one Elvis Presley track you dance to when you’re stressed, you’re probably dead by now. Music has a way of saving your life and that’s applicable to our cover muse, Mei Bastes. If there is one thing that she and Stache have in common, it’s the fact that both of us do what we love without expecting anything in return but the mere satisfaction knowing that we did something potentially groundbreaking and mildly inspiring. Other than that, Mei and Meiday created memories and friendships. Stop me if you’ve heard this one but, Meiday is not just a music festival, it’s a revolution and it is one of the machines that keeps the the comatosed underground OPM scene alive. In addition to that, we also have post-rock appreciation article written by Michael Smith. We also got the chance to interview Similar Objects, June Marieezy and Nico Puertollano about their craft. One of our staffers also went to Laneway in Singapore and wrote about her experience so that’s another thing to be jealous about. So here it is, our 8th issue and a tribute to the queen. Maine Manalansan, EIC
Jared Carl Millan
Head Graphic Designer Mary Silvestre
Marketing Assistant Coco Macaren
Lifestyle Editor Nessa Santos
Thea De Rivera
Fashion Editor Ecks Abitona
Adrian Gonzales, Elisa Aquino, Kaye Clarete, Roanne Cabradilla, Hannah Magsayo, Patrick Velasco, Grace de Luna Angel Castillo, Jelito de Leon, Karen de la Fuente
Samie Betia, Regina Reyes, Karla Bernardo, Kristel Silang, Christine Exevea, Katrina Eusebio, Regina Reyes, Maan Bermudez
Maura Rodriguez, Marella Ricketts
Stylists and Make-up Artists
Vince Ong, Esme Palaganas, Bea Manzano
Bjorn Bedayo, Dan Doydora
words by nessa santos, photo from zet diaz
Ever wanted to be in two places at once? Well, www.restlesscities.com could give you that, albeit not physically. Fresh and hot from the oven, the site offers handpicked information on what’s buzzing around Manila and Los Angeles’ culture scene. You might even be thrilled with a couple of features on your favorite bands. So if you still haven’t visited Restless Cities’ space on the web, you’ve been missing a lot. LA-based Editor-In-Chief, Rozette Diaz, obliged for a virtual interview, in which she shares what started Restless Cities, and what followers and aspiring contributors could expect in the future.
Fill us in. Restless Cities is all about ______________.
It’s all about pop culture and the arts in Manila and Los Angeles. We post original content and try to offer an alternative source of information on events related to arts and culture specific to these cities.
The site is pretty nifty and has a lot of potential to influence people to be more immersed in art, culture, and good music. Where did the idea of Restless Cities come from?
I refer to it as my passion project. The idea has been lingering in my mind for a long time, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready. Then one night, I told my friend Erwin about it and asked if he’d be willing to help me. When he agreed, I wrote [to] more friends and they were all pretty enthusiastic about the idea, too. That was really encouraging. I borrowed money from my mom, bought the domain, and started working on the site right away. I’ve paid her back, too.
There are other sites that offer similar kind of information. What makes Restless Cities unique?
I’d like to think that our choices set us apart. Our weekly lists of events are non-comprehensive, but handpicked. We don’t feature everything and everyone on the site. All of us in the
screenshot from restlesscities.com
group have, more or less, similar tastes and aesthetics so it’s pretty easy to maintain that consistency in the things we post. Our site’s layout is also meant to minimize distractions and put focus on the content. We want them to go to the site and experience the shows with us through quality pictures, videos, and interviews.
Why Manila and Los Angeles? Are there any other cities that might be an addition to the two?
I initially chose to start with Manila and Los Angeles because of practical reasons. Since I cover shows here in LA already, I can do a lot of things for the site along with it. In Manila, most of my friends are involved in the arts scene anyway so I thought it was perfect. Adding more cities is definitely part of the plan, but it will take a while. I know it’s very ambitious, but I believe it’s possible. In the meantime, our features on artists and events that are from outside Manila and LA are categorized by continent.
How different is the Manila arts and culture scene from that in Los Angeles? One might have the tendency to think that the West has more progressive audience, would you agree with that?
It’s not a matter of who is more progressive. I think the Internet has long blurred the line between the West and East. The difference, to me, is more apparent in the experience you get when you go to a show or visit a museum. First of all, not a lot of people in Manila can say they go to local museums just for the heck of it. That’s really kind of sad. Another thing is, when you go to a show, the vibe is really different. It’s quieter and calmer in Manila, which I really miss. Shows here in LA can get so unnecessarily rowdy sometimes. I think it’s because we’re generally the
more reserved type of people. We’re quite hesitant to speak our minds and be upfront about what we feel. That’s one thing I’m slowly trying to overcome out of necessity. I remember talking to a favorite musician of mine and the first thing he asked about the Philippines was whether or not strangers say hi to each other on the street. It would be kind of nice if we did, but it would also be weird. It’s hard to imagine walking in EDSA with people randomly saying hi to you. Can you?
As EIC based thousands of miles away from Manila, are you encountering any difficulties with the geographical proximity? We noticed that majority of the contributors are based in the Philippines.
So far, the only difficulty has been fighting off that feeling you get when you so badly want to see a show, but can’t because you’re so far away. Other than that, my friends are doing really awesome and it’s mostly because we love what we’re doing. It’s just a lot of fun for all of us.
With many cities brimming with creativity and passion for arts and culture, is the team open for other contributors all over the world? Definitely. We’re working our way towards covering as many cities as possible. That’s the dream for me.
It would be great if we could delight readers and future followers alike with a bit of sneak peek on upcoming posts. Game?
We can reveal that Restless Cities will definitely be there for Toro Y Moi! We’re also planning an official launch in Manila with a live show. Expect more interviews, features, and a third city soon!
ELLIE’S WICKED WEDNESDAY MIXTAPE words by nessa santos, photo by koji arboleda and maine manalansan
Pursuing your passion is one thing, but sharing that passion for the whole country to hear is in an entirely different sphere. Ellie Centeno – young, and vibrant, and possibly the coolest kid you’ll ever meet – is the girl behind Ellie’s Wicked Wednesday Mixtape. Juggling school and being the Marketing Director/Writer for Stache may seem like a tough job already, but those won’t hinder her from going on-air every Wednesday night. Cliché, yes, but she just proved the universe that you can do whatever you want, if you put your heart into it.
Paint us a picture: who is Ellie Centeno?
You’re going to need a huge ass canvas for that! Just kidding. I’m eighteen. I’m a college sophomore. I love chai tea and quesadillas more than anything else in the world, and I strongly believe in the existence of aliens.
How did this gig come about? Did it ever cross your mind that someday you will be making mixtapes, and for them to be heard on national radio? This story isn’t nearly as ‘inspiring’ as I wish it were. I started out as a Shoutboxer roughly around two years ago (the Shoutbox at that time was like the official fanbase of the station) and ended up getting to know a lot of people then. Around August, I had an assignment for Stache to interview a DJ so I asked Alain Silvestre (another Shoutboxer) to hook me up. I eventually met DJ Lambert then and a month or so after that, he came up to me and asked if I wanted to do a weekly segment in his new radio show. I took it, and on the 26th of October 2011, Ellie’s Wicked Wednesday Mixtape officially went on-air for the first time.
I wasn’t at the studio when the first episode was aired because I had a flight to catch the next day but I was tuned in. When my mixtape started playing, I cried. It was overwhelming. I used to make mixtapes just for kicks when I get bored, but I never thought it would blow up to this. It’s a beautiful thing—getting people to listen to (and appreciate) something you’ve made, and I’m more than grateful to have the chance to share it to the world.
I can only assume that you have a massive library full of great music, but how exactly do you figure out the theme for each week’s mixtape?
When EWWM was starting out, I had this whole love story thing going on. Like, for one week I had a ‘kilig’ playlist, and then a ‘MOMOL’ playlist, and a ‘break-up’ playlist. After that series ended, I either base it on a holiday (like the ‘Christmas’ playlist) or sometimes I ask my listeners what kind of music they want to hear the following week. Other times I base it on whatever mood I’m in. There are times I’d feature local artists and sometimes they get to play live at the studio. The whole point of the segment is to give—or at least try to—exposure to underappreciated artists that need it. I guess EWWM is my little way of helping the local and international music scene get the exposure it needs.
Any funny stories with listeners/fans/haters?
Oh, my listeners are the best. They’re the sweetest people. I’ve gotten recognized in school a few times but nothing out of the ordinary. Sometimes I’d get messages on Tumblr or on Twitter saying a listener’s seen me somewhere but was too scared to say ‘hi.’ I don’t get it, they say they are intimidated, but I’m pretty approachable! I’d even give them a massive hug if they said ‘hi’ or something.
The website for EWWM is spectacular. Is there a story behind the layout and the illustration?
I have absolutely no skills in layouting, so when EWWM was starting out, I met this listener, Wesley Sagun, who helped out with the basic stuff. A few weeks later, I got Stache’s web layouting goddess Mary Silvestre to do the theme, and one of Stache’s illustrators, Maura Rodriguez, to do the background. I’m thankful I’m surrounded with crazy talented people or else my site would still look like shit right now!
Tell us the secret formula for having an amazing taste in music like you.
My dad used to be those decked-out hippies and he’d go to Olongapo every week to watch local bands play live. It was glorious. So growing up, he exposed me to the likes of Led Zeppelin, Cream, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and Queen, and I just started branching out from that. The internet’s helped a lot, too. And my friends.
Just so people could widen their musical horizons, care to share some great artists that youth today MUST listen to? They’re going to have to tune in to the show every Wednesday to find out!
What’s in store for future episodes of EWWM?
More great music, crazy antics and inappropriate jokes, with a dash of glitter and a spoonful of fairy dust. Tune in to Jam 88.3 to catch Ellie’s Wicked Wednesday Mixtape on Tonight w/ Lambert & Mike show, Wednesdays every 9PM-12MN. Don’t have a radio? There’s a live streaming over at http://jam883.fm/, just in case you want to see them live!
LANEWAY FESTIVAL words and photos by nessa santos
“Today I’m going to be whoever I want to be - I’m going to sing, going to dance, going to act like a madwoman. I won’t care; today I’m free.”
significantly decrease the setup time between bands, and this fmade the crowd move from one side to another whilst dancing to the live music of their gods.
That was an email I sent on how I planned to spend 12 February 2012. To others, it was just a sweltering hot Sunday, but it has definitely earned a top spot on my list of best days ever. Attend a music festival? Finally scratched that off from my bucket list, thanks to St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Fort Canning Park, Singapore.
Being a Laneway virgin, I didn’t expect the scorching sun, which I had to endure for four hours or so, and I certainly was flabbergasted when it started drizzling and everybody around me started taking out their ponchos. To top that, food and drinks cost a fortune inside the venue, and I had to cave in to avoid hunger and dehydration.
More popularly known as just Laneway, the event was born in Melbourne back in 2004 to feature up and coming acts, particularly from the indie scene. It then expanded to a couple more cities in the Land Down Under. At long last, in 2011, the organizers announced that the festival would have a Southeast Asia leg in Singapore. Local fans and those from the neighboring countries were delighted, hence making Laneway one of the most anticipated events in the country.
That absolutely didn’t stop me from singing and dancing and crying to my favorite artists, though. It’s all about memories of everybody melting due to excitement when Cults popped into the stage (which commenced the festival), Yuck making everybody even more insane, Christopher Owens of Girls singing “I Will Always Love You” to pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston, Toro Y Moi making it easy to forget that your legs are hurting and you are thirsty as hell. It was all about dancing like mad to The Drums, bawling to Laura Marling’s exquisite music, being stunned with amazement, and love, longing for Feist who was just meters away from me, and everybody talking about how M83 was the perfect ending to such an unforgettable day.
This year, the festival grew even more popular with a staggering lineup, including Cults, Yuck, Chairlift, Austra, Girls, The Drums, Anna Calvi, Twin Shadows, Laura Marling, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Toro Y Moi, Feist, The Horrors and M83. A huge stage split into two was put up to
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
SUBSPACE COFFEE SHOP words samie betia, photos by pat nabong
A science fiction meets K-pop century modern nook, Subspace Coffee House is indeed a go-to place whether you are out with friends, need some quiet time to study, or simply because you want your energizing cup of coffee. The interior design of the cafe shouts uniqueness amidst the warmth of a comfortable haven. Seeing the café for the very first time, one simply could not miss the impressive ceiling installation, along with the vibrantly colored walls. Subspace is owned by Thor Balanon and Wilmer Lopez. The duo also own and manage Space Encounters, a fusion of K-pop themed interiors and edgy furniture. This explains the lavish style and creativity in its very own design, and the furnitures being used are also hand picked by the owners. All of this guarantees Subspace to be a very photogenic location, a place wherein everyone can enjoy the relaxing ambiance it exudes. Coffee: undoubtedly, everyone has their own preferences with this beverage, and Subspace’s selection of coffee would satisfy those preferences. Not only is the interior design idiosyncratic, but the selection of food and beverages goes along with it as well.
14 /Drive Thru
What else is in store? Well, they’ve got pasta, sandwiches, empanadas, and scrumptious cakes to satisfy the hungry and those in need of sugar rush. Yes, they have delicious food but it wouldn’t be called a coffee house for no reason. According to Thor and Wilmer, their best sellers include the Peanut Butter Latte and the Purple Potato Latte, both of which are famous drinks in Korea and they decided to bring these flavors for the Filipinos to enjoy. Other must-try beverages include: the Subspace float, Nebula Coffee Jelly, and Affogato. And as a cherry on top, these are all reasonably priced. Subspace Coffeehouse opened during the last week of July 2011 right after the furnishing process. It caters to basically people of all ages. Subspace also holds events and tributes such as K-pop film viewings or “fangirl day” held every Saturdays; for other occasions, particularly in the month of February, love themed movies are being shown for customer’s entertainment purposes. The current promo being offered is Super Mondays, which guarantees a free upsize on any drink on the first and third Mondays of the month. This is also why Subspace has a massive platoon of customers, which include Koreans, students along the area, workers, and even some bloggers as well. Subspace Coffee House is located at the Ground Floor of Grand Emerald Tower, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Pasig City.
16 /Drive Thru
“The main goal of Subspace is to offer a fun, geeky, and quirky coffeehouse experience with K-pop on the side.” - Thor Balanon
words by jared carl millan, photos by pat nabong
18 /Book Nook
own money. Everything goes well, his relationship with his father undamaged, and he’s managed to save a life and to be recruited by The League—but he now has two secrets to keep from his father and one, still, from everybody else.
When one is sixteen or seventeen or even eighteen-years-old, existing—not living, for living is an altogether different notion, a different concept which requires effort and certainty and, even in the vaguest sense of the word, goals that existing do not necessarily require—is difficult enough, what with high school and hormones and the world being, in true teenage vernacular, unfair. Thom Creed is no stranger to these things because they are exactly what he is burdened with. And because the world is unfair, he is also gay and has superpowers, both of which he tries to hide from his once-hero-but-is-now-shamed-father. It doesn’t end there: one particularly horny night, as Thom browses on his father’s laptop smut images of Uberman and playing with himself, he accidentally drops the computer, destroying it. To Thom’s horror, his father, oblivious to the condition of his computer, brings it to work the following day. Thinking that the pictures of an obviously edited Uberman would still be on the computer even after it is repaired and Hal Creed eventually figuring out his son’s secret, Thom runs away. Before he knows it, villains are hijacking the bus he’s on. The League comes to the rescue, and witnessing Thom exhibiting his powers (unintentionally)—healing a mortally mounded civilian—Captain Victory recruits him to be a part of the League’s probationary squad. Thom goes home finding, to his relief, the still-kaput laptop, and insisted to have it repaired with his
If you have read comic books growing up, even if it weren’t something you grew up to love, reading Perry Moore’s Hero is not unlike the experience you get from reading comic books; in fact, you could almost imagine the story progress panel by colorful panel, the font, the costumes, and the flying instead of the narrative format of the novel. Perry Moore’s prose is light. It is not overbearing. Equal parts sincere, tragic, and funny. But what makes this book stand out from other LGBT-themed Y.A. literature lies in the manner in which the novel’s theme is explored: Thom Creed is a superhero and he’s gay—but Hero is not at all a book about being gay, or at the very least, not only about Thom’s being gay; the particular is not rubbed into the readers’ faces as hard as most novels with similar themes are. Thom Creed tells his story the only way a fifteen-yearold know how and shows his world the way his eyes see it: immature, raw, heartfelt, borderline-angsty, borderlinesappy, but above all, Thom paints himself and his world believably. Add to the already perfect mix are the wonderfully written characters: Typhoid Larry (whose power can literally make people sick), Scarlett (a hot girl with a fiery tongue and blazing attitude), Ruth (an old lady equipped with precognition), and Golden Boy (he’s basically The Flash of the novel). Hero also pays homage to the already existing superheroes we have know by naming most of the members of the League after their obvious counterparts—Warrior Woman (complete with her lariat and tiara), Captain Victory, Uberman—which treads along the line bordering parody, and is very amusing. The late producer of The Chronicles of Narnia did know how to tell a story, and a good story at that: The very comic-esque battle sequences; Thom’s love for his father and his father’s love for him, love both of which do not know how to express; what it feels like to lead a double life, to have two identities, constantly afraid of being found out; the constant search for love and belonging and for that “one moment in their lifetime when an entire crowd of people cheers them on for something, one moment to feel exceptional, one moment that lets you know you really do mean something in the universe.” Reading the book, one senses the very palpable feeling that everything is possible and has a happy ending—as it should be. And to be honest, it feels like flying.
20 /Book Nook
To read a great deal of John Green is to feel an unsettling repetitiveness and familiarity in all the stories that he has ever told. One becomes aware of the homogeneity of his protagonists: the same sense of humor, the same turn of mind, the same John Green voice. His stories have sidekicks with similar (if not exact) personalities and the parents are basically the same people. And in true John Green fashion there is always in his novels the big “search,” the big “road trip” that compels the story. To read The Fault in Our Stars is to sense that perhaps one is reading Looking for Alaska or Paper Towns or An Abundance with Katherine’s but with different names for each character and minor changes in plot. Hazel Grace Lancaster is sixteen, has “lungs that sucked at being lungs,” and has survived cancer she should not have. Augustus Waters is seventeen, tries to live his life in metaphors, has one real leg and one prosthetic, handsome, in remission. They meet in a cancer support group, become friends, and fall in love. That is the basic premise of the novel: Two young hearts whose common denominator is having had cancer and living with the condition. But the greater part of the novel revolves in a fictional novel called An Imperial Affliction, Hazel’s favorite novel, that famously ends mid-sentence, mid-word. Hazel surmises that Anna, the leukemia-stricken protagonist of AIA, possibly died or is too sick to finish the novel. The author Peter Van Houten, who has moved to Amsterdam, has no plans to finish the novel or write a sequel. Hazel, curious as to what happened to Anna’s mother and soon-father and hamster and friends, writes Peter Van Houten letters asking what happens to everything Anna has left unwritten, but never gets a reply. That is all there is to know about the novel without giving anything away.
John Green is a writer whose works the young adult should be interested to read. He is intelligent. He is witty. He can write. And all of these come across on the page: John Green resonates in his protagonists—from Miles to Colin to Quentin to Hazel and Augustus—who are all smart and witty and insightful, and this perhaps is among one of his greatest flaws. He is a writer capable of exhibiting only one voice and that voice is conspicuously, shamelessly his. As it happens, one could mistake Hazel for a boy if it were not for gender-specific pronouns and blatant descriptions, for her voice is very much John Green and John Green’s voice is very much Miles’s (from Looking for Alaska) and Colin’s (from An Abundance with Katherine’s) and Quentin’s (from Paper Towns) and all of these voices are singularly a male’s voice. Although The Fault In Our Stars relies heavily on concept of caner, it is a cancer book as much as it is a book about mortality and finding meaning and looking at the bigger picture—basically themes of all the other John Green books—which are good themes, profound themes, but has somehow lost it’s charm and erudition and now simply come across as platitudes. John Green can whip out the most beautiful, thought-provoking rhetoric, but they would not mean as much anymore after reading a second book. In terms of his novels’ themes and morals and narrative, they feel the exactly the same and perversely overused. (John Green reminds me of writers who use repetitive themes in their novels, writers that are not at all exceptional in their craft: Dan Brown, Mitch Albom, Paolo Coelho.) The key to reading John Green and enjoying one’s self and John Green himself is to pick carefully which one of his books to read and read only that book and not one more, for they are essentially getting the different packages with the same contents, or the same packages with different contents, depending on how one looks at it. To discredit the author’s skills is to be unfair. To his credit, John Green writes beautifully, with a firm grasp of where he wants the story to go and how he wants to go there (probably because his stories are all the same), a roster of fleshed-out characters (same sentiment on this one), and an ear for humor and dialogue (ditto, for all his books seem to be playing the same comedic-anthem: morbid, self-depreciating, witty). Perhaps the reason why John Green charms still so many young hearts and minds and faithful Nerfighters is the fact that his literature is crisply, piercingly honest, literature that set out to be “in service of a greater good.” And isn’t that what any good man want?
POST-ROCK APPRECIATION words and photo by michael smith
In 2008, a few of my friends and I decided that we’d take a midnight drive through the backstreets of Norman, Oklahoma. While pestering the driver about what music we should listen to, he decided to just ignore us all and started blasting Explosions in the Sky, a post-rock band hailing from Austin, Texas. From that day on, it seems as if my life has revolved around post-rock. Post-rock has an amazing range of emotions infused in the vast soundscape created by the artist; there is probably a post-rock song to match any emotion I’m feeling at any given time.
I’m not afraid to say that post-rock is life.
Post-rock’s official origins started with the English band Public Image Ltd., in 1979, with major influence from
22 /Tune Up
The Velvet Underground’s concept of “dronology,” but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that post-rock actually started gaining momentum in the underground music scene. Tortoise, Cul de Sac, Mogwai, and Stars of the Lid led the post-rock movement, followed by the English post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. These post-rock bands borrowed influences from progressive rock, krautrock, and the indie music scenes. The post-rock band Russian Circles began using the “metal” sound in a post-rock style, becoming part of the smaller “post-metal” scene. Many newer post-rock bands attribute Mogwai and Tortoise for their sound, given their influence on post-rock at the time. Mogwai is still making music to this day, and still paving the way for post-rock with every influential album.
“I’M NOT AFRAID TO SAY THAT POST-ROCK IS LIFE.” Post-rock’s sound is vast, using dynamics and repetitive climaxes to create a large soundscape. Though mostly instrumental, the Post-Rock band Sigur Ros has been known to using lyrics in their music, developing their own language called “Vonlenska” to further add to the soundscape created by their music. Other post-rock bands include voice-astexture in their music, shown by the song “Trembling Hands,” on Explosions in the Sky’s album “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.” Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion take a sparser approach to post-rock that usually build up into an epic climax near the end of their 20-plus minute songs. These bands have also been described as “minimalist” bands, including the post-rock band Balmorhea. During my deployment to Afghanistan, post-rock played a major role in taking my mind off things. Due to postrock’s soundscape, it’s easy to get lost in the music, building your own stories to every song possible. Sometimes, it has the ability to lull you to sleep or get you hyped up before a big mission. Post-rock is also a perfect road trip music, finding its way into every setting of every location. Post-rock is extremely emotional, and that’s why I’ve become so attached to it; it holds such power over everything I’m doing and through everything I’m feeling. I once got a Mono album for a birthday present, and I played it at my house, with my
friends in the kitchen talking, and as the music built up to the climax, all conversation stopped and it was as if we were all entranced by the music. It’s powerful, even when played quietly or extremely loud. I have a tendency to zone out and get lost in the music when listening to any post-rock band while wearing headphones; post-rock is an extremely powerful genre. I could go on listing post-rock bands that I would want you to experience, but some of my favorites include: Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Explosions in the Sky. These three were my official introduction into post-rock, and they’re probably some of the best examples of how vast post-rock really is. Other bands include This Will Destroy You, Caspian, and The Album Leaf. They are also perfect examples of how post-rock can be applied to almost anything you’re doing. Mono, Stubborn Tiny Lights vs. Clustering Darkness Forever, Do Make Say Think, Unwed Sailor, Yndi Halda, Codes in the Clouds, and El Ten Eleven are also quite a few of my favorites. There hasn’t been a post-rock band that I’ve heard that I haven’t liked. So if you want to dive into post-rock any time, give any of these a listen, and you won’t be disappointed.
words by ellie centeno, photos mewa and samberlin
Describe yourself without using adjectives.
I’m an insomniac with an inclination to new age themes music and creative output set on a journey to uncover the truth with my findings hoping to return us beings to our original blueprint.
How would you define/describe the music that you make?
It’s like a set of restless fraternal twins. Where one twin is very groovy, ecstatic and funky while the other is subtle, calm, serene and very grounded.
Why ‘Similar Objects’?
I believe in the connection that exists between all entities of all form, shape, and race. I slowly want everyone to be aware of that connection, because in essence, we collectively author our reality.
Do you have any pre-mixing rituals?
I’m really big into transcendental meditation if there’s anything I do before mixing or baking a beat it would be inducing an alpha state.
What is in store for the future of Similar Objects?
2012 is going to be a big year for everyone. I’ll be sure to put out something eye opening in lieu with the events to come but other than that I’ll be coming out with a bunch of releases starting with an ambient/drone record suitable for meditation, sleep and other quiet time activities. It’s going to be called “time magic” after which will come a glitchy-funkyy-jazzyhiphop record on the Singaporean label “Darker Than Wax” followed by lastly a beat driven hiphop sample based record on the local net label “Deeper Manila”. Keep them eyes and ears open.
Where can we find your music?
You can find most of my previous releases on “similarobjects. bandcamp.com”. For my recent experiments drafts and sketches u can access that on http://www.soundcloud,com/ similarobjects. If u guys are on tumblr and twitter and are curious on what flavor brain I have go add me up as well “twitter. com/similarobjects” and “similarobjects.tumblr.com”
words by ellie centeno, photos by june marieezy
A short bio.
“June is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas who is now residing in Manila, Philippines since 2008. Manila’s underground indie scene challenged her RNB style to a burst of genres from rock, soul, jazz, and experimental. Manila’s culture itself has a big impact on June’s writing influences while she falls in love with her country, learns how to cope with the dirty city, and alternatively sips on coconut juice on the surreal islands. Since 2008, she has been in an alternative rock band called Good Morning High Fives. But a girl from the South simply cannot be satisfied without her soul and hip hop roots. That is where she calls home to Deeper Manila.”
Who are your biggest influences?
For some reason, I don’t really have a major influence when it comes to music. It must have been everything in my life accumulated as stock knowledge and the music just makes itself. I do however believe I am greatly influenced by the things around me. Family. Strangers. Friends. Emotions. Be-
ing a human being. Evolution. Etc.
Dream collaborations (living or dead, international or local) The Roots. This will always be a dream.
When did you start making music? When did you realize that the music industry is the niche you’d fit into?
Only recently I remembered myself as a very little kid singing my own songs about sunflowers and stuff that didn’t make sense. I wasn’t very interested in singing karaoke or other peoples’ songs. Music was always my niche haha.
Any upcoming projects/events?
I’ll be having my album launch this March 2-4 at the international Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival on the island of Puerto Galera! It’s gonna be sick. This hasn’t been announced yet and the album isn’t done yet.. but we’ll make it happen!
DIFFERENT WAYS TO APPLY EYELINER words by bea manzano, illustration by marella ricketts
Eyeliner is one the most popular makeup products that is used by women of all ages. It instantly lifts your eye and wakes up your whole look. The style of the eyeliner depends on what type of look you want to achieve or the shape of your eye. There are a number of ways to apply eyeliner depending on your mood and style but here are some of the styles that would work on any eye shape. To be able to do these you can either use a sharp eyeliner pencil or liquid eyeliner for more precision.
The Classic Eyeliner- This look was made popular in the
1940’s and used by pin up girls. Worn without any shadow, this style can stand on its own and be made more fun by adding a pop of color to the lips. Start by drawing a thin line on your upper eyelids from the inner corner of your eye, towards the end flick your eyeliner to achieve the slightly winged shape. This may sound hard to do but all you need to do is practice to perfect the “flick.”
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Smokey Liner- Kim Kardashian’s signature look. What you
need here is a pencil liner and your desired eye shadow color. Line your upper lash line with eyeliner; it doesn’t have to be perfect since you will be smudging this afterwards. Taking a smudge brush, gently smudge the liner upwards toward your lids. When the effect is “smudgy” enough for you, take your eye shadow and pat gently on top of your lids making sure that it doesn’t go beyond your crease. Take a blending brush and blend the color towards your crease for that smokey effect. You may choose to add another layer of eyeliner to define your look more.
The Cat Eye- Similar to the classic eyeliner. Start by lining
your upper lashline from the inner corner and “flicking” your liner towards the end. Draw a similar one on your lower lash line and connect it to the flick that you made on top. Imagine having a mini triangle on the corner of your eyes. Taking a brush, smudge the eyeliner inward to fill the space where the two lines meet. This style makes your eyes look bigger so this is best for those who have smaller eyes.
SKIN TIGHT words and illustration by maura rodriguez
They felt hot, sticky, and oddly uncomfortable, despite the fact that they were jeans and not leotards or stockings. It was my first year in college and my thrifted skinny jeans (or my parents would call them baston) was an initiation into the style I wanted to pursue for the rest of my teens. Likewise, what music I’d be listening to as I did my plates for Fine Arts.
as any type of fashion statement. But as soon as Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2003 collection hit the runways, there was a rekindled fascination towards slim fitting pants. Kate Moss, the British supermodel who is also known for her easy-going rock and roll style, helped put back the style on the streets, along with Angelina Jolie, who iconized the bad girl chic style better than anyone else.
It’s hard to shake out the connection between fashion and music. When it comes to the skinny jean/ tapered pants/drain-pipe leg trend it would seem that the music breathed life into the fashion. The style started way back in the 1950’s, and was popularized by the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley, and actor James Dean. Both were clearly the iconic sex symbols of the era. Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn also wore pants that were very similar to the current skinny silhouette. And since women usually wore skirts those days, tapered bottoms were a statement against the norm or simply rebellious. But the style clearly became associated with rock or punk music in the 60-70’s, when the emergence of Disco meant the rise of the bell-bottom or flare pants (and we know how commercially successful that went). The “skinnies” retreated to its roots and sprouted a following via prominent punk-rock bands The Clash and The Sex Pistols. There was no denying how the jeans helped mold the image rock stars and bands have today. At this point the jeans turned darker, rugged, and probably even tattered. It was more of an item for men than women, since hot pants (mini shorts) and cropped tops were something girls were more into at that time.
But probably the biggest influence that made skinny jeans turn into a mass worldwide fashion phenomenon would be the rise of emo-punk/rock music. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Fall-Out Buy, and locally, Chicosci, brought the jeans to the stage and music videos. There is no doubt of the following and stigma the music gave the style. Until today, most people have an impression of a person into emo and rock music to be someone (preferably male) in ultra tight constricting black pants with a dangled chain or ripped at the knee or pockets. But fortunately for the style (somehow I could say so), the K-pop wave contributed to putting some color into the basic denim washes. So colourful in-fact that now brands (foreign, local, and on a bazaar level) offer skinny jeans in “rainbow-lustrous” and fluorescent bold colours, giving the style some fun and light-heartedness despite its dark past.
In the 80’s, the style remained loyal to its rock and rebellious roots as it was kept underground, but the silhouette turned mainstream in the form of leggings and stirrups as worn by Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. The grunge era of the 90’s just reinforced the strength of the flare, and introduced a more relaxed figure through elephant pants. For the longest time, people have been accustomed to roomy and baggy jeans that were far too comfortable to be considered
On the high-end fashion spectrum, current “It” fashion designers/houses Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, and Balmain, have brought the style into rockstar heights once again. Making the silhouette of the jean to be more constricting and ankle-tight; as well as lowering and minimizing the zipper height and space apparently. These designers have also pushed the style through creating them in fabrics other than denim or dyed denim. Such jeans under these brands are a fashion craving for most bloggers over the internet. The fan base and adoration over these items have immortalized the style through photographs in blogs and websites that will always be archived and ready for the next person or musician to pick up the trend. But clearly the word sexy could never escape the image of skinny jeans, as well as the music that has been sewn in its seams.
EVERYTHING RIPPED words and styling by ecks abitona photography by pat nabong make-up by pael gutierrez
modelling by bea geronimo and pam simbulan
In the 1990s, the trend that reigned was grunge. Designers, celebrities and fashion icons were spotted embracing this laid back fashion for quite some time now. Alexander Wang’s Fall 2008 and 2010 runway looks were no exception, with the then popular “grubby” hair, laddered stockings and dark make-up. Celebrities like Rachel Bilson, Rihanna, and even the ever-stylish Olsen twin were also seen sporting the trend during the angsty time. 90’s grunge is officially slicking back its backcombed hair and making an unwavering comeback. The iconic style is on its way back with a vengeance, taking firmly in its stride the popular ripped denim, ripped stockings and basically everything ripped. In the past, wearing ripped stockings was a faux pas. However, the ripped stockings trend has won hearts of many people when it was first noticed at Wang’s Fall 2008 runway wherein boots and laddered stockings created a unique and shockingly beautiful look that was rock chic meets neo-grunge. Since the runway photos were released, it’s taken rapidly to the streets by many street-style blogg across the web. Wearing ripped stockings can be quite tricky; it can either make or break your ensemble. When worn with a crisp, corporate skirt-suit, it will look like an unfortunate run-in with a sharp fingernail. However, shredded tights worn with your trusty combat boots and cut-out denims definitely scream fashion forward neo-grunge chic!
As the grunge subgenre of rock became more popular in the 1990s, ripped jeans became a look embraced by the teenage fans. Even though the popularity reached millions, the particular look would fade out before the decade ended. Today, ripped jeans have changed and have reached fashion icon status. Those who show off wearing ripped jeans are usually not looked at as being poor or revolutionary. Instead, ripped jeans are created by fashion houses and are often spotted on celebrities and youths in continually evolving colors, styles, and different shredded looks. Trends are ephemeral. So it wasn’t long before the “ripped” trend extended to shorts and shirts. This style definitely gave rise to the DIY movement in which ripped clothing play a large part. Come to think about it, it doesn’t really oblige for you to come from a design school to cut your shirts, jeans or shorts to give them a modishly twist. After all, fashion is about controling and modernizing your own style in your own terms.
Photography: Roxanne Bunag Concept & Styling: Maura Isabel Rodriguez Make-up: Alyanna Arboleda Model: Jannica Sibal
Polka Dot Shirt: Php35.00 Crochet Top: Php20.00 Skirt: Php35.00
Tie-dye Shirt: Php35.00 Printed Jogging Pants: Php50.00
Sleeveless T- Shirt: Php35.00 Skirt: Php50.00 Jeans Php20.00
Checkered Top: Php35.00 Polka Dotted Dress: Php50.00
Denim Vest Hoodie: Php20.00 Chiffon Dress: Php50.00
Polka Dot Sleeveless Top : Php50.00, Cardigan: Php20.00 Shorts: Php30.00
Oversized Sweater: Php 70.00, Jumpsuit: Php20.00
In Her Slumber Photography : Koji Arboleda Styling: Maura Isabel Rodriguez H&M : Alyanna Arboleda Model: Christina Christenson
DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR OUTFIT YOU ARE FOND OF? Send us a photo at getcreative@ stachemagazineonline.com
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STACHE STYLE GUIDE FEBRUARY 2011 photos by kaye clarete, hannah magsayo and roanne cabradilla
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WORDS BY ECKS ABITONA
TOPSHOP UNIQUE: MILITARY CHIC Under a new creative direction, this Topshop Unique collection will get women heading in stores to stock up on long-lasting pieces, says Tamsin Blanchard. Kate Phelan, the former Fashion Editor of British Vogue, took her 18 years of experience to a different level and joined the in-house design team of the retail as creative director last June. The intelligent way of combining slouch and structured pieces showed that it had the fingerprints of an expert stylist all over it. “The concept was trying to reinvent the uniform with a good mix of masculine and feminine,” design manager Emma Farrow explained. Topshop Unique showed notions of this season’s trend of military inspired pieces filled with army green, plums, greys and black during London Fashion Week. Seeing 101 Dalmatians and Cleopatra from the past two seasons, people were sure caught by surprise when they sent out a sophisticated yet a very wearable collection.
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO: BATS AND 30s FILM NOIR Designer Christian Siriano always had a flair for the dramatic in all of his runways shows but for two seasons in row, everything seemed to be filtered, sophisticated and glamourously edgy. He extracted his mood from a tough palette of greys and black with few doses of deep red and the textures striking from lush fur and silk to ombre embellishments. Drawing the idea from a 1933 film, Vampire Bat, gave the antique feel of the whole collection but the silhouettes, however, remained fresh and the prints modern. Although the whole collection was inspired by a horror film, everything was outstandingly glamourous.
ALEXANDER WANG: KING OF ANDROGYNY Carine Roitfeld, Grace Coddington, Bill Cunningham, Giovanna Battaglia, and Franca Sozzani — just to name a few of the present famous personalities in Wang’s Fall 2012 runway show. Also those who were present were notables of a different kind: supermodels Natasha Poly, Karolina Kurkova, Shalom Harlow, Carmen Kass, and Gisele Bundchen — who all walked the show. As for the collection itself, it was heavy on black and leather. The leathers were polished and flawless and were often paired with mid-calf-length skirts. Among the standout pieces were knee-high boots (sure to be amogst the next season’s must-haves), fishnet turtlenecks and fringe accented dresses were presented in a packed-in house at Pier 48. The collection was minimal with slight focus on embellishments such as shaped shoulders on dresses and chiffon tops. Despite its plainness, Wang still managed to leave the viewers speechless therefore proving that less is indeed more. One thing’s for sure; Alexander Wang knows how to put on a good show.
PROENZA SCHOULER: WARRIOR PRINCESS Clear-cut clothes that not only include the trends that surfaced during New York Fashion Week but modified into something fresh and new, Proenza Schouler presented the most intriguing collection yet. Asian inspired garb, tough protective outwear, reworked leather and assymetrical fastenings were only few of the captivating highlights of the show. The theme of protection was revealed through the strong patchwork, impeccably proportioned cut and structured shapes in many of the garments specifically through the well-built woven leather jackets. Key pieces include the new voluminous skirt shape, quilted and woven leather outerwear. “It’s Asian, but in a New York way,” Lazaro Hernandez explained.
VINCE CRISOSTOMO words and photos by elisa aquino
Vision is so rare to find in individuals.
In this “small” industry alone where everyone knows one other, you meet a lot of brilliant artists who specialize in his or her own craft; many have the ability to stun you with their talent but, there are those special few who have such amazing vision, you know they know exactly what they are doing and how they are doing it. Hand them trash and you know they will come up with a way to make it beautiful. These kinds of people, one remembers most of all. A few months ago, I had an androgynous-themed photo shoot in mind, which I did not know how to execute. To make it challenging, I asked help from a stylist I have never met but whose works I only saw from the internet. It is always a pleasant experience working with new people. Now, pleasant, in this case, is a severely huge understatement. Vince made the photographs come to life. It is very rare to meet people who inspire you to make your work surpass your own expectations. Sometimes, you settle for
mediocrity for lack of inspiration because you just want to get it done and over with. He made every single photograph come to life, helping me direct the models, styling the clothes in ways I could never have thought of, and making sure every single detail in the image was perfect. One does not forget people like these. Vince Crisostomo is a newcomer in the fashion industry but working with him, you feel like he’s been honing his craft from the first moment he said his first word. A nineteen-year-old sophomore at the University of Santo Tomas, taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising, he’s a name you’ll surely hear more from for the next months. He is not only a fashion stylist but also an artist, an art director, and most of all, a visionary. Execution is very critical in the creation of masterpiece: Vince not only does it perfectly, but with such knowledge and certainty. He never is clueless. He has “the big idea.”
Have you always been inclined to fashion? What sparked your interest in fashion? Was there a specific experience which made you feel, “This is it?”
Honestly, not really. I remember back then when I only used to have 5 pairs of shorts, some shirts from Greenhills and tons and tons of Havaianas. Hahaha! That was me until my sister encouraged me to try different clothes and dress pleasantly. I guess it turned out well and people started to recognize my style. After that, my interest for fashion grew more when America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway were introduced, and from then on, I started exploring fashion blogs, lookbook, and started browsing different magazines.
Seeing you are also an art student, how does your love for fashion show/concretize itself in the art works you create? How does it affect your works?
Actually, most of my artworks are greatly influenced by fashion. I get inspired by hues and color palettes from ad campaigns, trendy clothes on subjects and using typical model features on people though I’m always being criticized for having the proportions wrong.
What is your style philosophy?
Just be true to yourself. Explore and experiment! Don’t try and become somebody else.
Who are your fashion inspirations, locally and internationally? Or what? Local: JP Singson, Nixon Marquez, Patrick Galang and Gian Romano. International: Alexander Wang, Kate Lanphear, Nadia Sarwar, Rick Owens, Yuanyi Jeff Lee.
If we were to raid your closet, what would we find? What are some of your favorite clothing pieces and favorite brands?
I’m not a fan of colorful clothes to be honest. You’ll probably see lots of subdued neutral basics, different kinds of jackets and tons of black stuff. I’m actually not brand conscious. I don’t usually stick to one brand but Topman’s pretty nice! I love the fit and the wide variety of their clothes. Favorite piece? Definitely my tailored black rompers from Saliva.
If you had the chance to raid someone famous’ closet, who would it be and why?
What are your biggest fashion do’s and dont’s? Or any fashion rules or commandments you follow in life?
For me, there are no rules in fashion. I mean fashion should be fun and must reflect who you are (so don’t be afraid!) but of course, you should know your limitations and know how to dress appropriately.
How do you describe your job, styling? Is it difficult? Challenging? Fun and exciting? What are some of the challenges stylists go through to complete a look since stylists are often under appreciated. I guess I have no right to call it as a job ‘cause I’m still new in the industry and I’m not earning money yet but based on my experiences, it’s definitely difficult and challenging! Besides building the looks, sourcing, returns and pullouts of clothes are pain in the ass, though but nothing beats the fulfillment of creating the look and others appreciating your work.
Care to share any memorable styling experiences?
I remember a few years ago, I styled my friend for a High School Grad ball. I actually had a hard time creating a look for him because of the time he gave me so I decided to make an epaulette for his coat. Actually, the problem is how I will attach it given the time and without damaging the coat. Given the situation, we decided to use “double-sided” tape to rush things out. Yes, DOUBLE-SIDED TAPE!! I told him not to move too much so the epaulette won’t fall and surprisingly, my friend won as best dressed that night because of that diy-ed coat. Haha!
Do you see yourself doing this (styling) for the rest of your life? I’m not saying no, but there are also a lot of things I want to try. I love what I’m doing and if I were given other exciting opportunities besides styling, why not?
Any advice for anyone who wants to join the fashion industry and who also wants to pursue styling?
Know more about the industry and make sure you’re really passionate about it. Strengthen your networks and don’t be afraid to meet new people.
KATE LANPHEAR!! Please! I love her to death!
words by ellie centeno, photo by maine manalansan
Established in late 2010 and what was initially expected to only be a short-term business, Shirt Selector was created by Leo Katigbak and Jay Aquino. Shirt Selector is a clothing company based in Thailand that sells band shirts, statement shirts, movie poster shirts—basically shirts with pop culture references. “We don’t just sell shirts, we sell a lifestyle,” says Leo. When asked why he decided to call Thailand Shirt Selector’s home base, Leo explains, “I’ve noticed kasi how well-dressed and fashionable Thais were during my first few visits there, tapos yung textile industry there’s really good—a lot more advanced than what we have in the Philippines.” Jay also added that when it was starting out, Shirt Selector was only supposed to operate on a short-term basis. “Parang sabi lang namin, ‘let’s just sell these motherf*ckers and get
it over with,’ but when our friends from the industry started supporting us and we got really positive reception from people, yun na.” Shirt Selector is currently handling five different clothing lines and distributing shirts that were only previously available mostly in Europe and the US to the Philippine market. Their shirts are priced between 600 to 800 pesos, “and they’re made from whatever percent cotton which makes them really comfortable—[hindi] halata if you sweat [laughs]—and the print’s of really amazing quality kaya it’s never going to fade,” says Leo as Jay quickly adds, “I’ve seen this store sell Lady GaGa shirts for over 1,500 pesos and here we are, selling Studio Ghibli shirts for 600. How amazing can that get? I mean, we’re the only ones that do that in the Philippines, and we’d like to keep it that way.”
God Save The Queen words by ellie centeno photos by koji arboleda styling by maura rodriguez, ecks abitona and esme palaganas make-up by thea de rivera clothes from proud race and shirt selector
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One can go as far as calling Mei Bastes as the quintessential music queen of the generation and get away with it—and even have the biggest names in the local music industry backing you up; over the years, Mei and her brainchild, Meiday! Meiday!, have become household names in the music scene. If you’ve never heard of her or her parties, what massive rock you must have been hiding under! Tracing its humble beginnings from Mei celebrating her birthdays with small-time gigs in the now-closed Purple Haze Bar and in BigSkyMind in E.Rod, Meiday found its way to Cubao X, which then eventually housed some of the biggest parties for years. These Meiday parties showcased bands we’ve all grown to love: Ciudad, The Discoball, The Purplechickens, Bee Eyes, and Arigato! Hato! among others. You know the best thing about Meiday? They were all for free. Yep, for the four years Mei Bastes has been throwing Meiday parties, she never asked for a door charge (except for that one Meiday fundraiser at B-Side but well, that was a fundraiser). In a way, Meiday is a big ‘f*ck you!’ to overpriced concerts of sh*tty bands, giving local indie bands some semblance of hope for exposure and appreciate from a relatively large audience. This February is a bit ironic for Meiday! Meiday!, celebrating its fourth anniversary as it bids its final farewell to its supporters and fans. When Stache learned about Mei’s decision to declare Meiday’s desistance, we immediately scrapped all our initial ideas for our February issue and decided to do another music issue as a tribute to Meiday! and Mei Bastes, herself.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m turning 26 this year and I’ve been doing music productions for ten years now—Meiday is also turning exactly four years this month. It might be hard to believe but I’m a very sensitive person. I get hurt at the tiniest hateful comment online, that is why when Meiday became so massive I had to become extra-careful with the things I say, online or not.
What got you started in the music scene? How did the idea of establishing Meiday come about?
I was a member of this college organization called The UP Underground Music Community in Diliman. We were trained to stage events. I initially started with college band friends in the first productions. I produced gigs in little gigholes in Quezon City area when I was in college. I was also a band manager back then and this is where I encountered the pay-to-play schemes of other productions, which I found totally anti-artist. The first few Meidays were my birthday parties in 2008, that is why it has my name on the banner. And then the big bands heard of it and I transferred the gig to Cubao X where the monster parties began. Meiday is a statement of my perspective on our local music scene. There are far [better] independent bands than the regular mainstream music we watch in music channels and listen to in radios.
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I’m imagining how overwhelming it must’ve felt every time your hard work pays off when a Meiday! has a big turn-out. What was the most memorable Meiday! for you?
Definitely the 3rd anniversary party in Cubao X, February 2011. The headcount was around 2500 people, which had been really huge for the venue. I had a flight to Europe the morning after the party so it was really a stressful night. There was a black-out right before the set of the most anticipated band of the night, Pedicab, but people still stayed. The party went really crazy when the lights went back on.
Did you ever think Meiday would ever get as massive as it is now?
No, definitely not. But it became so big that people would even pry into my personal life. I even regret putting my name in the banner—but I am grateful that I am famous because I made a difference in the music scene and not because I post outfit pictures.
Do you have any funny/crazy encounters with diehard Meiday fans?
It kinda feels nice to know that kids look up to me. I get a lot of fanmail all the time. I even had snail mails sent to me. There was just this one incident at the train station where kids asked for a picture and I felt weird because the other commuting people were staring at me wondering what was happening. I don’t do the autograph thing, just pictures. That’s just way too much.
Name some bands that have been mainstays during Meidays. How did you meet them?
Arigato! Hato!, Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad, The Discoball, Misyonaryo—all of them are my close friends. Pedicab was one of the bigger bands who became a mainstay at Meiday since it started in 2008. It is a little scene where everyone knows each other. I think lots of bands now have respect for me because they know how I worked so hard to get where I am now.
Not too long ago, you announced online that Meiday will finally close its curtains and bid farewell, what aspect of the whole Meiday scene will you miss the most?
The concept of the huge free music festival ends, but music is a part of my life so definitely I’ll still hang around doing little gigs here and there. I would like to get away from the ‘Meiday’ fame as much as possible because it is really
exhausting. The popularity that came with it became a full time job and that I was always expected to please people. And if I fail, I am easily targeted by the ungrateful. Meiday is like my baby; I am upset that I had to do this. But things end and people have to move on. Who knows, I might do something else and just won’t call it Meiday. Point is I’m not going anywhere.
What else do you do in your spare time besides being your awesome self and throwing Meiday parties? I used to work in films doing production design. I look forward to doing more film projects this year. I’m now on the corporate arena because I just landed the Events Specialist position in a top agency.
What’s next for Mei Bastes? And is there anything else in store for Meiday fans?
There might be huge surprises after I end Meiday in March. Basta, I’m just around. ---The pending denouement of the Meiday era has left musicians and music lovers alike filled with dread, do you have any consoling words for people like me who keep Meiday close to their hearts? Everyone of us can make a difference. There are other ways to contribute to boosting our local music scene. Meiday ends but not my dedication and passion to help our bands. Writing this feature on Mei and on Meiday was bittersweet for me. It’s a dream come true, but then again, there’s that sad realization that saying stuff like, “Tara, Meiday tayo this Saturday!,” “What are you going to wear for Meiday?,” or “Uy, solid yung line-up for the next Meiday, ah,” or cancelling plans just because it has the same date as a Meiday will all just be distant memories (but good ones, at that) from now on. I greatly look up to Mei, not only because she’s established something as big and as wonderful as Meiday, but for (unintentionally) creating a subculture within Meiday, a subculture that modern-day hippies, music lovers, scenesters and eclectic outcasts alike easily fall into and call ‘home.’ Mei Bastes and Meiday! Meiday! will always hold a special place in our hearts, and it’s good to know this won’t be the last we’ll see of her.
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WORDS BY SAMIE BETIA; ALL PHOTOS
PHOTOS FROM NICCO PUERTOLLANO
Stache Magazine Online had the very fortunate chance of interviewing Nico Puetrollano, an artist whose work garnered awards from SVA and Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His style incorporates “the traditional Filipino text of Alibata with the rugged flows of contemporary graffiti art.” He currently runs 27+20, an interdisciplinary creative art studio based in New York City and Manila, which specializes in design, informational graphics, and ad campaigns for print and motion, a venture he runs with his wife Katwo Puertollano. What made you pursue a career in the line of arts and media? Is there a particular event in your life that veered you toward it? Since I was in grade school I knew I wanted to do something in the creative field. I love to draw and even as a kid I would paint and draw almost everyday. I think it was not until college that the idea I could make a living on this came into being. I don’t think there was one particular event but I do remember getting an award in the 5th grade for a painting I did in art class. My teacher entered it without telling me, and next thing I know she comes back with an award for it. I think that was one affirmation for me that I had a talent. Although, I don’t think I would have taken this career path without my parents’ support. They’ve always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and they were always present at my events or art shows. What was it like studying in New York City? Of all the schools available in the state, why did you choose School of Visual Arts for your degree in Computer Arts? I don’t know if I can compare schools in NYC vs. the Philippines. I was a kid when we moved to NYC it wasn’t like I had a choice to study there. Growing up in the city I had no desire to move to any other state for college. I made many contact in High School in the City so I did not see the need to leave. Before going to SVA I first went to Hunter College double majoring in Film/Media Studies and Philosophy. I think after 4 years of being in Hunter and working in the design field, I decided to transfer. My choices were SVA, Parsons and Cooper Union. I decided not to try for Parsons so it was SVA and Cooper. I got in SVA. I guess the reason for the transfer was that I decided I wanted to design movie titles. While in Hunter the movie Seven came out. I was so blown away by the title sequence (designed by Kyle Cooper and RG/A) that I said that’s what I wanted to do. Hunter did not offer any specific courses in the field but Cooper and SVA did, so I decided to transfer.
What inspires you to create art? Is there a specific person who you look up to in making your creative designs? My inspirations for my art come from my daily experiences, friends, music and movies. There is no specific person look up to, but I do look at a lot of old science book covers. What are your direct and indirect influences in the line of arts? In my fine art my big influences would be Philip Guston, Jackson Pollok, Alexander Rodchenko and my friends. Indirectly, life, movies and music. What type of art do you most identify with and why? I really like abstract painting cause there is a sense of immediate gratification and an emotional release. It’s so organic and just like life, it changes right in front of your eyes. There is a sense of control but only up to the point right before the paint hits the canvas, at which point you have to follow the flow of the canvas. I think it’s great. Do you find your work enjoyable? And if yes, how is it enjoyable/in what way? Yes I do find it very enjoyable. There is a magical moment of creation and I think that is rare. Musicians also do it and other people who create things. I guess the closest thing I can think of is like having a baby. I think women that have kids understand this. For us men I think we find that solitude in creating things. Aside from being an artist, what jobs have you tried out? Well in grade school I started out as a dishwasher. In high school and early college I did a lot of theatre work as a stage manager or as crew hanging lights. If you weren’t an artist what would you have been? Additionally, what are your other passions in life? I always wanted to be and FBI agent. My other passions are skateboarding, music, movies/tv shows and Aikido. What memorable responses have you had from the work that you do? I think the best is when people get inspired and see that it is possible. I have this issue when people believe that they “can’t,” without even trying or when society dictates what are the better possibilities in life. What are your dream projects in the future? Commercially I would like to direct a Nike SB ad for the Philippines.
Professionally, what is your biggest goal in life? Be happy. Living life to it’s fullest with my wife. Do you think that art should be funded and prioritized in the Philippines? I definitely feel there should be more funding in the arts. The arts help define a society’s culture because art is a way to express how life currently is and how it should be. It opens up ideas and shows that things are possible. I think art and education once, it is funded right, we can see a drastic change in Philippine culture within ten years. Have you had any embarrassing moments in your life as an artist? How about the scariest, most daunting experience? The only embarrassing thing is when I forget people’s names in art openings. What are some advantages and disadvantages in your career/as an artist? I think the nice advantage is being able to see life in a different view. As for any disadvantage... at the moment I can’t see any major disadvantage.
Does a particular mood or feeling enhance or give a certain effect towards your work? If so, how? Do you follow a certain creative process or do you just go ahead and do it? When it comes to fine arts it depends on my mood. My process is more on feeling. Music helps. Usually when I paint I have music playing and that also influences my mood. For commercial / design work, the mood does not depend on me; it depends on the requirements needed for the particular project. This follows a strict creative process. Which I think is more difficult because you are asked to visualize and interpret someone else’s mood. If you were to give an advice to a young student, hoping to make it big in the industry, what would it be? Practice practice practice! Any tips for the young who has time and again felt as if they failed as an artist or thought their work is not good enough? I think in personal works you can’t fail cause you set the goals. But if it’s work for hire... well don’t take it personally, and like in the last answer, practice practice practice! Plus, just because a person did not like a work does not mean you are bad at it. It could just mean you were not able to fully give what your client is asking, usually that falls under skills and not talent.
the secret is that both parties have to understand the difference with office/business relations vs the husband and wife relationship. Roles have to be established and be clear. In one interview Katwo says that it is clear in the office that I am the boss, but at home she is!
How did 27+20 come about? We, basically my wife and I, started it together. We quit our jobs and decided to focus on our own studio.
What is the goal of 27+20 as a company/vision and mission of the company? Do you have any plans on expanding the business in the future? Same as always, and that is to create visually pleasing work. As far as expansions we will have to see what the future holds.
What made you decide to pursue an interdisciplinary creative studio? I wanted clients to hire us not just for our skills but our creativity as well.
How does the Manila and New York office work hand in hand? Is there a specific reason as to why there are two headquarters? Well we have a producer there that helps coordinate with projects. So if there is a project in NYC he handles it and we give our creative input. The reason for the NYC office is because that is where I am from and it also helps keep my connections even though we are based here in Manila. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having two headquarters: New York City and Manila? Is it difficult managing both? Managing is not the problem; it’s really the time difference. What is it like working with your wife, Katwo Puertollano? It’s the best thing working with your wife who also has the same passion as you. We see each other every day for almost 24 hours and we don’t get tired of each other. I think
Describe a particular workday in the 27+20 studio? What makes it different from all the other creative studios? Well on a slow day we cook lunch for everyone. We try to stick to only working from 10am - 6pm. We don’t believe in a lot of overtime. I think sleep help people be more creative and work better when rested as opposed to stressed. We are quiet at work and we are focused on the current projects at hand all the time. Any advice to people who are interested in joining the internship program or apply for a job in 27+20? I think the best people to answer that would be out current designers Johann Tanhueco and Clarissa Gonzalez. We look more than talent, we look for skills and we also look for a nice personality that works with the dynamics of the team.
27+20 - 1 (347) 509 2720 New York City +632 932 4813 Manila Nico Puertollano Phone: Yo Garcia of Pablo Galleries +63 920 960 5690 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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