From This Suok

“Suok”, noun, in Bisaya means ‘corner’

“From this suok is vague enough, specific enough and random enough to apply to any and all things I could write about.”

– Me to The Love, January 5, 2018

As mentioned in the first post, a lot of thought went into the creation of this blog. I’ve had blogs before and as much as I love writing and pouring my thoughts onto paper (or, in this case, onto the screen), I have quite the commitment issue when it comes to maintaining a blog.

However, the dire need for a creative outlet outside of my own head and room urged me to create this page and is leading me to actually committing to this page. The dire need to save oneself as we continue to live through this mad world has contributed to finally move from ‘I want to’ to ‘I did it’.

This will be filled with my notes and thoughts on books, fandoms, coffee, wine, music. There is a want to ensure that everything on this page will be positive but still allowing space to show the light and dark that exists in all things. There will be attempts at being poetic (of which I will surely fail at but leave me be). There will be random posts about random thoughts. Posts that will both be miles long and one-liners. All from my perspective. From this corner of the world. From this neck of the woods. From this nook of my home and hometown. From this suok of my head.

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A Letter To 22 Tango Records

Songs of Summer 2015

‘Ngano wala man mo katong highschool pa ko??? When I still had all the time and energy in the world????’

– me to Cattski

I doubt Cattki remembers that but I remember asking her as if it were yesterday. However, digging through the photos today, turns out it’s been over 4 years. This question was asked in an overly dramatic way (as the excessive use of question marks would suggest) with matching wiping away of nonexistent tears and giggling.

I answered the call to join and volunteer for the 22 Tango Records Street Team December of 2014. I met with MotherFolker, Cattski, in a cafe and we talked about what the Street Team was about. Later into the conversation, I remember someone approached her. They said their ‘Hi’s,’How you been’s and ‘Bye’s. She later told me that it was someone who used to volunteer for the team but has left coz… Life…. But she added that everyone tends to come back or visit one way or another.

01.13.2015

That photo of me and my Chucks may seem random, but that was from January 13, 2015 – my first official thing with #22T. This was my first ever time in a proper recording studio – that ground needed to be documented. We were there to record more material for what would later be known as DemoCrazy – a project that would, in time, teach me a lot of lessons both personally and as a contributing member of a team.

Shhhh Policy

That photo of the Shhh Policy banner was, I think, from my first 22 Tango Records event called Tono Tango. The introduction of the Shhhh Policy has hummed melodies and harmonies to my musical heart and continue to to this very day. I’ve had moments in life where I wish the #shhhhpolicy was not only a policy during 22 Tango events but a law that applied everywhere… But we’ll get there. Somehow. Someday.

22 Tango Records is homegrown. In Cebu. And put in all the hard work that focuses on developing our very own musicians and artists – reminding them that they don’t have to be anything else but themselves, they don’t have to go anywhere else to be appreciated for their craft and they don’t have to share anyone else’s stories but their own.

On top of that, 22 Tango Records works just as hard at developing the us – the music listener. To learn to pause – stop – pay attention to the people around you and see that the music and reprieve you’re looking for is sometimes found in your very own neck of the woods and is homegrown.

Those are not easy mountains to climb (if you think it is, I highly suggest that you volunteer for Songs of Summer events and tell me it’s not hard and passionate work) but they do it. And they’ve been at it for 9 years.

A million and one thank yous to Ms. Anne and Ms. Cattski (and Ms. Manna as well!!). For all that you and your crew have done and continue to do. I am forever grateful to have been a little part of the world and community you’re creating.

Answering the call for volunteers in 2015 has introduced me to great music, great beings and great memories. It continues to do all that to this very day.

My photos are old coz I havent been around much… Coz… Life… Can sometimes pull you away from things that actually matter. But then we go back. We find our way back one way or another. We always will.

Tono Tango 2015
Songs of Summer 2015 | The Labrats Album Launch
Cuppa Folk 2015 | Lourdes Maglinte + Vincent Eco

… Books And Cleverness

‘I will not be revisiting any books for the year of 2019. Only brand new worlds, uncharted chapters and territories’.

That was a little promise I made to myself before 2019 started. A bit of a resolution, if you will.

This goal was spun out of the desperation to distract myself from anything Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts / Wizarding World related anything as I was entering a different level of ‘obsessed’ after Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald came out November of 2018. I had spent, genuinely, a whole year of intense reviewing and revisiting all mediums of the Wizarding World prior to that release.

2019 will be the year that I won’t read any Wizarding World material. This will be, shall we say, a year long vacation from a world I know and love so dearly it’s practically my literary home.

At the same time, this no-revisiting rule isn’t exclusive to the JK Rowling materials I’ve obsessed about since I was 11. This extends to any and all pieces of literature I’ve already explored and experienced.

This is set in the hopes that I not only develop as a reader (coz man… Am I behind) but continue to grow and learn as a student in the school of life.

This goal, in all honesty – silly and minute as it is – is rather ambitious especially since I love the worlds I’ve already visited, but it’s a challenge to oneself.

So here I am, opening the conversation for any book recommendations (to help distract me from reaching for any Harry Potter books) – please, by all means, throw them titles and authors my way.

A Note for 2019

Hi all!

Greetings from this suok!

Today marks the first anniversary of this blog and I’m more than grateful for what this outlet has given me.

Although I was not able to meet my initial goal of at least one post per week, From This Suok has given me some semblance of peace and purpose – and that, if anything, is worth more than meeting any numerical goal.

This year, aside from showing the usual movements from inside my head, I’ve figured it’s time for me to show you the world I see. Experience the sights and sounds from this suok of Cebu.

This new project is something I’m incredibly excited about and look forward to showing you the Cebu that I know.

Cheers!

Fireworks 🎇

[WARNING: A large portion of this post was written after having a 5-mugs-of-coffee day. And… Yes, I included an emoji on the title… Coz I felt like it. And. Caffeine.]

2018 has been quite the year. 52 weeks filled with a million ups and downs. A true whirlwind ringing in my Saturn’s Return.

As maddening as this year has been, as with each year, it’s been a teacher. It’s been a reminder of how uphill climbs are a part of living (and boy, do I need to work out some more).

2018 has also been a friend. It’s allowed me to pause and reconnect with myself – my true self. In the past 12 months, I’ve seen parts of me I didn’t even realize still existed.

I’ve created art. Not as much as I’d like, but still. 2018 has given me four songs (two of which remain… Unfinished… But we’ll get there), so it’s not been a total deserted barren waste land. This blog is about to reach its first year anniversary and has served as a home for my writings. I went back to coloring. I don’t quite know how to describe how it feels but between the patterns and the colors and the shades, I found 8-year-old me again.

I’ve consumed so much art. According to my Spotify 2018 Wrapped, I’ve listened to over 135,000 minutes worth of music and podcasts on their app (I know. It’s wild. But it’s not a hard number to get to when you’re like me and you’re constantly listening to something for your own sanity even when you’re sleeping). 2018 has given my soul so much new music to consume as well as keep my staples on heavy rotation (I jest. I obsess. 135k minutes, bro).

In the 52 weeks of 2018, I’ve finished reading 38 books (I actually kept a list this year!), including a few short stories and audiobooks. Not to mention a pile of unfinished ones (sorry… I just can’t… The stuggle is real). I’ve binge watched TV shows and movies that I’m going to cherish forever and will revisit like mad. I’ve discovered an intense love for stand up comedy and have finally reached an age where I can appreciate the brilliance of screenwriting. (I don’t know why I put those last two together in the same sentence but leave me be, it makes sense in my head. Somehow.)

This 2018 has essentially been about digging a deeper hole into understanding who I am and what my place is in this world (… Being older does that. Even when you don’t feel you’re older… Your creaking bones will remind you that you are older). Along with this ‘maturity’ (insert suppressed giggles), are a few things I’ve learned:

  • There will be people in your life that you will need to take a break from and that’s totally okay.
  • There will be people in your life who will need to take a break from you and that too is totally okay.
  • Being not okay is completely okay. As long as you remember to breathe through the madness. Remember how far you’ve come and how much you’ve overcome and whatever madness might be taking place is another thing that you will overcome.
  • Escapism, once done for the right reasons, can and will heal.
  • Art heals – this I’ve known for many years but it helps keeping it as a reminder coz sometimes this mad world makes us forget the important things.

As we prepare to ring in 2019, and as I get closer to entering the 3rd dimension – I mean – decade of my orbit around the sun, I wish to reflect on these:

Firstly, a few not-so-serious things (again, I’m overly caffeinated at the moment):

  • Are 6-year-old Kerly and adult Kerly and all Kerlys in between ready for the new Backstreet Boys album, DNA, before the release at the end of January?
  • Will I be able to sleep for the whole month of February knowing Kodaline will be in Manila yet again but not in CEBU (yet again)?
  • Will Paolo Nutini be releasing new music within 2019?
  • Will I ever be emotionally prepared for new Sara Bareilles music?
  • Will there be a Cebu staging of Hamilton (so I can be ambitious and audition for the Peggy/Mariah role. Key word: Ambitious)?
  • Will Saint Sister, The Staves and Lorde ever collaborate and merge all of their superpowers onto something and just bring me to their magical faerie land of music?
  • Will Netflix Philippines finally get all the Harry Potter and already released Fantastic Beasts movies and fully support my never ending love for the the franchise?

Secondly, and on a much, much more serious note, to ponder over these:

  • Who do you think you’d be had our ancestors simply traded and not been conquered and colonized by other civilizations?
  • How do we, as humans, account for the fact that we can never seem to learn from what history has taught us?
  • Who/What would you believe in if you were never told what to believe in?

    Nobody knows what this new year will hold for all of us, but I do wish for the following things this 2019:

    • More art – all mediums of it. The creation and consumption of it.
    • For humanity to return to the humane.

    I end my 2018 with this 30th published blog entry and enter 2019 with visions put into motion.

    Happy new year to you and yours! May you ring in the fireworks with an abundance of great food, wine, conversations and company.

    Cheers! 🥂

    Fall

    Better to give her a sword
    Than a pen to her word

    – Kathleen Solon, a bit of poetry from my sister after I’d shared a song I’d written.

    We move in a world devoid of color. A world that knows no rhythm and rest. A world that does not appreciate anything that does not have a price tag or a number attached to it. A world that questions the abstract because it fears what can’t be quantified or rationalized and simplified. We move in a world too impatient to listen to understand whether it be screams or whispers.

    For some time now, I found myself buried in the rubble of this world. Deep in the aftermath of this foliage, dried up and brittle, that I’d fallen distant from what has nurtured me.

    This week has reminded me of my true colors – I am an artist. I move through this world a little differently.

    I’ve the capacity to channel these thoughts and emotions, create and put them into motion. When pushed to the point of no return, I go through my arsenal and this week’s weapon of choice has been – as it almost always is – words.

    I’ve always had an affinity for words. It’s been my cure, my armor, my weapon. This holds true regardless of whether the words come from someone else’s pen or mine.

    This ability to turn to art as an outlet has brought about some semblance of pride. Pride over the fact that it allowed me to keep my sentiments in check when needed and let go when needed – or so I thought. This week has proven to be the opposite of that restraint.

    What broke that reserve was the fear that I was stumbling down a path I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow myself to walk. And so words were spoken into being. Set the foliage aflame. Words that may be deemed spiteful and perhaps even uncalled for.

    Words I remain unapologetic over as I look at the ashes.

    Not out of pride, but out of being human.

    Apologizing over my emotions would be cheating myself. It would mean I felt regret – I do not.

    I am human.
    I am an artist.
    To feel is vital.
    To feel is to be human.

    I was surprised over the power this gave me. Surprised over the parts of myself that rejoiced over the freedom to feel and express regardless of the outcome.

    This is a falling away of facades. This is a falling away from societal conventions. This is a falling back into oneself.

    11.25.2018

    Christmas 2018

    Tis that time of year yet again when families gather from far and near. (Please don’t ask me where that line came from.)

    Christmas has always been special in our household ever since I could remember. Over time, as generations crop up, we’ve changed how we celebrate Christmas. However, here are a few things that remain ever unchanged and mean Christmas to my family and I:

    1. The sound of kids running and laughing the house. (We live in the family home, everyone ends up here during the holidays and there’s always somehow at least one kid bouncing around high on sugar and Christmas.)
    2. Nat King Cole’s and Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas albums (Like duh… I grew up wishing they were my grandpa)
    3. GREAT. FOOD. And oh my gahd. Sooooo much homemade awesomeness. (My belly and I would like to thank my family – the Mom, the BigBro, the Sis.In.Law, the Love – for being badass cooks and for making dishes that remind me of heaven with each spoonful.)
    4. Wine. RED. Wine. (ALL that food needs to be broken down by some fine wine.)
    5. Harry Potter. (I mean, there HAS to be at least one Potter movie on TV during Christmas. If not, it’s not exactly Christmas… Yet)
    6. Family. (Whether bound by blood or otherwise. It’s about the people you hold near and dear.)

    Growing up in a tropical country, my understanding of Christmas and Santa Claus has always been rather unique and instead centered around those things.

    At the same time, I’ll forever be the kid who wishes for snow in my island but knows it’s not going to happen (yet… coz… climate change) but will take rainy weather and cold winds so she can curl up in the rocking chair next to the Christmas tree with a mug of hot choco (a.k.a. Sikwati, mah peeps) getting mesmerized by the lights and Nat King Cole singing ‘Oh, Tannenbaum’ on vinyl.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    An Ode To Artists

    Those with tired hands, eyes;
    Tired bodies and minds
    Whose pockets keep no dime
    But hold stories and rhymes

    Those whose stomachs hunger
    Undaunted in their sins
    For the soul hungers more
    Than mere gold on their skins

    Whose path is less traveled
    Light + darkness unravel
    Meet their angels + demons
    Cast them into eons

    Who go against the tide
    Witness truths and beauty
    The lies and gracelessness
    Capture humanity

    Those who need expression
    Construct worlds for hours
    A glimpse of redemption
    A supercut of dreams

    Who bare their wounds burns scars
    Uncover souls minds hearts
    Search for their breath of peace
    Find it in an art piece

    For the world that knows naught
    But to run at top speed
    Thank you for this solace
    Escape, freedom… Reprieve