Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Faces and Music of Indonesia (Festival Seni Islami)

Traveling is a great opportunity to see the smiling faces in this world's little dot and hear sweet melodies sung in a different language.

I spent my last afternoon in Yogyakarta by strolling along the city's most famous street, Malioboro Street (sounds like that familiar cigarette brand). That day, January 21st, I was lucky enough to witness Festival Seni Islami (Islamic Arts Festival) in Fort Vredenburg. I was embracing Islam through their music and fashion. The festival was mostly participated in by students.


Fashion Show:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Going Rasta: Making Dreadlocks along Colon Street

Let us paint the town green, yellow, and red -- the tri-color brand sans the ugly indulgence (please!).

I am not practicing the Rastafari lifestyle, but I can see the good out of this often regarded bizarreness. It's just got to be appreciation of its music and fashion if you can.

I chanced upon an uncommon activity in downtown Colon area (the oldest street in the Philippines). Making dreadlocks while street goers were too mindful of their own business? That's rare that I had to stop by, observing, examining, and for the sake of knowing the tedious process, interviewing the dreadlock stylist.

The whole part isn't easy, weaving each section by a crochet needle for some 20 minutes multiplied by the number of sections. That’s a big amount of time. It's just funny to know that dreadlocks don't smell bad.

The cost to get dreadlocks ranges between 2000-2500 pesos, and for repair, around 1500 pesos.

To the two guys, MacJoy and Jay-r, who weren’t hesitant to let me take pictures and video them, thank you. They even prided themselves on becoming so-called instant artistas. : ) MacJoy, an architecture graduate is the owner of a stall along Colon Street (beside Jollibee, 138 Mall) that sells Rasta clothing and accessories, and the sole dreadlock stylist. His cool customer, Jay-r, is a skimboarder from Tanauan, Leyte (the skimboarding capital of the Philippines)

Go check out the video interview in 2 parts by an obvious novice. The clips are in Cebuano (a Philippine dialect), fyi. :)

Part I

Part II

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bring Back the Ukulele

It was the first instrument I learned to play. Not by heart but because the subject required the class to. I got hold of the ukulele when I was in grade 5. We had to learn it as part of the course of study, which meant “to be good at it or else you’ll get a red mark”. But yours truly who happens to be a lefty, sure had difficulties mastering each chord since our teacher taught us the right-handed way, and, yes, chord or songbooks anywhere are designed for righties. In most cases, the righties, the so-called majority sets the tone for the world. For how long will lefties have to endure this?

For a few months, I thought I had already mastered the ukulele. The culmination event of everything that we had learned happened to be part of our Christmas program. We performed probably a Christmas song, I guess (forgot it). What was so vivid was that I was caught up with stage fright. During the performance, I twisted some chords, was so lost. To make it up with the mess, I had to fake half of my performance to sound still in synch with the rest until the very end.

After that, I told myself that I would never get to master the ukulele or any string instrument. I am born lefty, who’s destined for other things, and this is not just for me. On the contrary, great lefties abound in the music scene. There’s Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, and Babyface.

While they can do it, the real question is why can’t I? I would sometimes blame my being a left-handed as the real culprit why I couldn’t master any string instrument. I tried the guitar but to no avail. Or didn’t I just have the heart for it? Or more likely lost the heart for it given the circumstances?

Don’t get me wrong. I love music. I am constantly in awe seeing people playing strings. I appreciate music. But I guess I just need to rest my case. Let it be my first and my last.

Photo source credit:

You might ask, why a post on ukuleles? Well, I was just inspired by a video I saw earlier today on Youtube. Ha ha! The kid below is awesome!