On the eve of the release of Maria Cafra’s third album and first in 33 years, former bassist, Dennis Fabunan passed away last Monday, January 30.
Imagine what it must have been like at the Clover Theater, the Savoy, Lux, or the Palace; jazz clubs and dance halls of a bygone era when Filipinos fell in love with jazz music the Americans brought over to the islands.
I HAVE been enjoying “Break Point” on Netflix.
The enigmatic avant-garde artist Space-Ta is not only time-traveling but is going international.
During the bonfire to celebrate the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ recent UAAP Men’s Basketball Championship, the Itchyworms, Ateneo alumni themselves, performed their classic, “Beer” early into their set.
With many of their contemporaries hanging up their guitars or having shifted this mortal coil, Pinoy Rock legends Maria Cafra are not only alive and kicking in 2023 but are about to release a brand new album featuring all new material.
WHEN have I teared up in a UFC fight?
One of indie pop’s most beloved bands – Belle and Sebastian released their 12th album, Late Developers this past January 13.
Dear Gianni Infantino,
Twenty years after indie pop rock band Orange & Lemons dropped their debut album Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream on compact disc via Terno Recordings, that much-lauded album filled with OPM pop gems has gotten the vinyl treatment.
FORMER national team mainstays Stephan Schrock, Roland Muller and Anton del Rosario will join an all-star seven-a-side team from Southeast Asia for the TST $1 Million Winner Takes All tournament set in North Carolina in the US from June 1 to 4.
It is always with great anticipation that I look forward to the new work from the brothers Ronaldo and Ronnel Vivo. Theirs is such a fermentative creative mind that they are constantly producing music whether it be with the Insektlife Cycle (psychedelic), Dagtum (death metal), Abanglupa (hardcore punk), and Imperial Airwaves (post-punk). And all this music is wrapped in between arresting artwork designed by Ronaldo.
FOOTBALL great Edson Arantes do Nascimento, famously known as “Pelé” passed away right before the end of 2022 after a battle with illness. Football luminaries, media personalities, and fans lavished praises on the Brazilian for not only his achievements but also helping popularize the game.
One of Filipino indie rock’s best kept secrets and Indie rock band Dystocia Curve opens 2023 with their fourth album with a numeronym for a title in Taclob 1. Or “Tacloban.”
THE year 2022 was an eventful year in my life.
It came upon a midnight clear… the sound of merry jazz in this silent of nights.
THE Ateneo Blue Eagles’ winning the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 championship was an unexpected one. The kind since the National University (NU) Bulldogs’ most incredible climb to the top of Philippine college basketball’s summit in 2014 (Season 77).
Some 51 records from independent artists and labels were released this past 2022, and it looks like 2023 is going to be even bigger. There will still be reissues but there will be a lot more first-time releases and new music.
Friday night… December 16… I had the perfect antidote to the unnerving madness of carmageddon in Metro Manila made worse by Holiday shoppers… the JR Oca Experience (JOE) at the Tago Jaz Café in Cubao.
If there is any indication of the return and continuous growth of vinyl as a physical medium for music releases, consider this…. in the year 2022, there were 50 – yes, you read that right – independent releases on vinyl whether via 7,10, or 12-inch.
DOES that headline sound right?
It has been a little over several weeks since British indie pop band Prep played Manila for the fourth time in their career and we caught up with vocalist Tom Havelock and drummer Giom Jambel who were back in England.
IT might be an exhibition match, but the world would like to see the legendary Manny Pacquiao at least one more time when he engages South Korean martial artist, DK Yoo Sunday in a six-round boxing match at the Korea international Exhibition Center in Goyang, South Korea, with more than 30,000 people expected to be in attendance.
AS I grew older playing football, one of the things that was hardwired into my brain by my first coach—the late Spanish Basque Bro. Jesus Oscariz—was to think and not just kick the ball.
THE giant-killer is now king.
LET’S start off by being a man about it.
You know something is worth it when you skip the Ateneo-UP game and two FIFA World Cup matches to watch an awesome jazz band make their debut performance at Tago Jazz Café.
THE thing about streaks is that it is either continued or broken.
NOTHING like a little controversy heading into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The hidden jazz treasure and the hidden jazz bar.
While in a queue to enter the Singapore National Stadium where Guns N’ Roses was going to perform on Saturday night, November 12, behind me was a Filipino family of three – the parents and their 16-year old daughter.
“Talk About” is the new single from pop rock band Garage Morning.
By word of mouth or maybe by social media, it spread. Four cats swinging and bopping the joint on a quiet Sunday night. Or maybe some just like to be fashionably late.
IT’S a huge win—this 68-54 triumph over La Salle. One of the biggest all season. This is the game and the favorable result that I hope—as an Ateneo alumnus and supporter—turns the season around.
At a time when a lot of the music is flimsy, prefabricated, or even nonsensical, some things never change.
Paolo Cortez lit a cigarette and puffed.
THE Aboitiz Football Cup—the country’d longest running grassroots football tournament—returns after a two-year pandemic hiatus from November 12 to December 10 at the Aboitiz Pitch inside the Lima Estate in Lipa City.
YOU really cannot stereotype people.
When I was in high school back in the early 1980s, one of my favorite magazines was this British one titled, Flexipop. To be honest, I thought the writing wasn’t great as it had an irreverent nature like the American Creem magazine. But Creem was much more intellectual in spite of their zany sense of humor.
For a band that cut its eye teeth writing political and social commentary songs, the last couple of years have seen alternative rock band Agaw Agimat pen some heartfelt if not heart-wrenching songs.
THE excitement for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
BACOLOD City—Cebu defended its AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup title with a pulsating 2-1 win over tough Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at the La Provincia Polo Field in Bacolod City Sunday.
WATCHING Cebu defend their AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup, 2-1, against Bonifacio Global City in the final, I couldn’t help but think that there are bigger things in store for this national seven-a-side football tournament that is slated to become an international competition next year.
When the Eraserheads take to the stage at the SM Festival Grounds for their much-awaited reunion concert this December, they will have a little help from some friends.
BACOLOD City—The AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup kicks off Friday at the La Provincia Polo Field here to usher in perhaps the biggest football grassroots program in the country.
THE first FIFA World Cup that I saw way back in 1978 where Argentina won its first trophy against the Netherlands. If I remember it correctly, the matches were like 13 hours behind. Meaning, if they were played in the evening, I would be in school the next day. So, we only caught the results in the evening news.
IT’S incredible to see Will Gozum lead the College of St. Benilde (CSB) to its best start at 5-1 since its title years more than 10 years ago.
INSURANCE company AIA came in to support Philippines Football League (PFL) team Maharlika Manila Football Club.
THE Mindoro Tamaraws’ team manager Lito Asi took in the unfolding match with great interest.
THE Maharlika Manila Football Club tapped Arman “Biboy” Esteban as its new head coach and acquired three new players for the team’s current campaign in the Philippines Football League (PFL).
FILIPINO golf fans will be treated to one of the year’s biggest sporting events—the 2022 Presidents Cup.
LET me preface my column by saying that I grew up a fan of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). I served them by working as editor-in-chief of one of its official publications and by also working as the official writer for a couple of teams. Furthermore, I also got to work for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (PBA) for a number of years.
THE Second AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup will be staged at the La Provincia Polo Field in Bacolod City from October 14 to 16.
I DON’T recall a surge in achievements in these athletic competitions since the 1980s or early 1990s.
SOME quarters say that we should leave politics out of sport. I was one of those. But really? Can we?
THE National University (NU) Bulldogs are the 2022 Filoil champions after defeating the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 56-46. The Bulldogs took their second title in the tournament (and first after that 2014 championship back when they had Ray Parks, Troy Rosario and Jean Mbe).
THE 7s, the biggest and widest seven-a-side football tournament in the country, kicks off its sixth season Sunday at the McKinley Hill Stadium at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
HOW on Earth can Barcelona splash $160 million in player transfers this past summer despite being over $1 billion in debt?
The way the rain was lashing down on that Friday, August 5, it was as if the Wrath of God was headed for Metro Manila.
BRYAN BATTLE threw a punch that hit Takashi Sato then followed it up with a kick to the face that dropped the Japanese fighter. And then it was over. Forty-four seconds into the first round of their fight Sunday.
AS a sports fan, one wonders why the Los Angeles Lakers, Real Madrid and other top clubs all have championship gold, the Hall of Famers (GOATS in the discussion even), and the best fan bases.
HOT on the heels of the success of the women’s national team—and in gleeful anticipation of their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut next year, the men’s game takes center stage this year.
FROM the Miracle of Hanoi to “Herstory” in Manila.
THE song goes, “Exodus… movement for Jah people.”
AT the eastern end of Liberty Avenue that cuts across all the streets of Barangay Socorro from Edsa is Murphy.
DAYS after the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft snub of Kai Sotto, it is still a hot topic. As I shared on Facebook as well, it is easy to second guess a decision and missed opportunities.
WITH the departure of SJ Belangel for the Korean league, the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ chances of competing for another University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball title just greatly lessened.
SINGAPORE—“I told you so,” roared Josh Culibao moments after he took a split decision against Korean Seungwoo Choi in a featherweight bout in the preliminary card of UFC 275 in Singapore last Sunday.
WHEN I saw the book The Legends Club by John Feinstein on the shelf of Kinokuniya at Takashimaya along Orchard Road in Singapore, I knew I had to get it.
WHEN architect Toti Turalba takes to the greens of Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club, he feels a certain pride in designing, creating and managing one of the top golf courses in the Philippines.
WHEN Raffy Verano was recruited by Tab Baldwin to play for the Ateneo de Manila, “it was taking a big step,” described Verano.
Stephen Speaks, the crew behind those hits from the early 2000s that is still a staple of FM radio and streaming play in the Philippines is back with a new single, “Alive to Fight.”
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Western pop music star Justin Bieber announced new dates for his much-anticipated Justice World Tour, including Manila on Saturday, October 29, 2022 CCP Open Grounds. This tour, in support of Bieber’s sixth album, Justice, will span five continents, over 20 countries, and more than 90 shows from May 2022 all the way through to March 2023.
“GUSTO mo lumaban sa UFC?”
AS the Miami Heat eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series, the former’s Jimmy Butler sought out the latter’s Joel Embiid.
WHEN Roy Hodgson said following Watford’s 0-1 loss to Crystal Palace last Sunday, “[We] fought until the last minute,” that’s hardly any consolation.
IN 52 days by the time you read this column, basketball-loving Filipinos will be watching the annual National Basketball Association (NBA) draft that will take place at the Barclays Center in New York City.
CHICCO BRIONES, 19, brings his act from Carroll College in Montana to the University of the Philippines.
IF you went to the wake of the late broadcaster, host and DJ Boyet Sison at the Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Parañaque, while there were some tears, it was actually more of a party.
I JUST lost my oldest friend in the world… Boyet Sison. For most, he was a sports broadcaster and a disc jockey. Me? He was more than that.
“The records have made me feel nostalgic and sentimental,” reflected Chickoy Pura of the coming vinyl release of their early new wave songs as well as the re-release on vinyl of The Jerks Live.
THE first round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84 men’s basketball tournament is done. Notwithstanding the breakneck pace in which this tournament is being played, fans and observers have been treated to some good basketball both collectively and individually.
OH, ye of little faith…
UFC 275: Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka will be held June 12 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium making it the first numbered UFC Pay-Per-View to be staged in Southeast Asia.
THE Iloilo Kisela Knights’ led by Grandmaster Joey Antonio led the statistical race of the San Miguel-All Filipino Cup of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines at the end of a gruelling three-month elimination round.
HEADING into the game, I wondered what University of the Philippines (UP)’s Malick Diouf would be like for the Fighting Maroons. When Ateneo first saw him with Centro Escolar University, he gave the Blue Eagles fits. And that was with a team of no-names.
WHEN I see Jordan Sta. Ana, I think of a talented and exciting scoring swingman. But when I also see him, I think of him as Philippine college basketball’s equivalent of former National Basketball Association player Paul Shirley.
IN the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the freezing of assets from Russian oligarchs, Chelsea Football Club has been a target because of its owner, Roman Abramovich.
Good ideas spring forth when you least expect them.
Some 15 years ago, Rivermaya cut a trilogy of albums that were influenced by British bands like Radiohead and Coldplay. The music of Orange and Lemons on the other hand sounded like a paean to the Beatles and the Smiths.
“Work, save, be thrifty, and be smart about your expenses.”
I LOVE me a good old fashioned grudge match. Where the dislike is so intense that it takes a life of its own.
FOLLOWING its invasion of Ukraine, not only has Russia’s offensive been badly blunted but they have become international pariahs.
I AM bummed out. Bummed out by the loss of Mark Striegl to Chas Skelly this Sunday morning on UFC Fight Night.
Feeling bad that Lush is finito after their last reunion fizzled out quick?
OVER the past several days, I re-watched the entire first season of The Apprentice One Championship Edition on Netflix. When it first came out, I caught the first three episodes in succession then stopped.
LET me preface this by saying that, whoever is appointed as national team head coach, whatever they wish to do, we will support. As if we will not.
I’M not the sort who is surprised when we see athletes succeed or do something extraordinary outside the sport of their specialty. Not every athlete is one-dimensional. But there are those who will still surprise you because of their strength of conviction.
WITH every game, the Philippine women’s football team’s confidence and belief is growing. Not even the lone loss in the group stages was enough to dampen their spirits as they felt they hung in there as long as they could.