Honoring my Mother: A Madayaw kind of week

I caught a bit of the Kadayawan fever this week. The Lumad festival that celebrates thanksgiving, bountiful harvest, and peaceful co-existence with others (in other words, the motherhood celebration of all celebrations) had everything happening in the city all at once.

There were art exhibitions, food fests, musical concerts, street dances, parades, and even a surfing competition, which I heard some reporters say, was a first in the city.

I was lucky enough to be squeezed into the concert circuit, and jam with some old friends from the 70s. Right, the last time that Rolly Maligad, Popong Landero and I shared a common stage may have been last year’s Kadayawan gig, but to be in one place again for this year’s festival, brings back to mind 41 years ago, we were in one “super” group which could monopolize a night’s gig in Manila’s music bars. Back then, we offered what bar owners deemed was a great package: three solo performances, a duet, a trio, and a full band. During that time, we even brought our own sound system and instruments (our drummer owned a music store).

Present day and here we were still at it. While Popong played with his own Reggae band, Roll had brought his Cocojam brand of music to session with local musicians and performed during the four days of the festival, and it was a thrill to play with him again. I couldn’t attend the scheduled rehearsals weeks earlier but that didn’t matter once we stepped on that stage, as years and years of playing together naturally kicked in and auto-mode was set to full on.

Naturally, after the first gig, I had posted a picture of us three on social media. Because of this, the thrill of playing together again was only overshadowed by the outpouring of responses from ancient 70s friends who came out of the woodwork, as if to say we’re all still here, and glad to see you’re still, well, alive and kicking ash. Looking into their present Facebook pics and seeing how we have all changed through the years was a pure delight and a source of teasing among a few of us. Truly, our mind’s eye is always locked in on how our acquaintances looked the last time, and that becomes radically challenged when they encounter the present-day image. No matter, we’re all still children in this universe anyway.

I know these friends from the good-old days have all gone through so many journeys and trials since the last time we saw each other, but hearing from them now had markedly narrowed that time-induced space between us once again, and surely, it’s the same with everyone. I have heard of a saying which roughly says that, when friends who have been apart for so long meet once more, and then simply start where they left off; that is a mark of true friendship.

These guys are just that and I’m happy for their being a part of my music life. Their reaching out during this festive occasion had definitely made this week double-whammy magical, and even for a brief moment in time, the memories of that rock and roll era had just come sneaking back and merging with the new age, under the festival lights of Kadayawan.

Posted in Opinion