Friday, August 28, 2009

Assorted Tori Tales

i first heard about Tori Amos in the early 90s with the song Cornflake Girl. a friend in Cebu told me about it the first time i dropped by there before going home to Iligan via boat. back then, plane rides were considered a luxury i had to endure 2 nights of travel to Manila where i studied college and home to our province. that semestral break, i exercised pure independence by taking that boat to Cebu before heading home as some sidetrip, tee-hee!

when i went home to Iligan via another overnight boat trip i already had the cassette tape of Under The Pink heavily playing in my borrowed walkman as company.

i then started buying all her tapes/cds even asking for cd singles from friends who went to the US. i even had a VHS copy of Little Earthquakes which i got from a friend who happens to be another toriphile.


when i joined a writers workshop in 1998, i met a few friends who were also into Tori. we talked in depth about her and her music, sometimes like screaming giggly fans but most often like pensive admirers. the most significant memory i have of that workshop was when we stayed at the rooftop, smoked and listened enrapt to her songs in a mini cassette player one serene evening. it was pure magic!


in the early 2000, i had a shirt printed out with her image. i had it made at Copylandia here in Katipunan. unfortunately, i don't know where that shirt is now. thus i intend to have another one soon.


when Neil Gaiman came here for the very first time, i queued up with Jaybee, another Tori fan, for more than 6 hours at Gateway just for his autograph. and yes, it was in a copy of Death the High Cost of Living where Tori wrote the intro. Full story of that embarrassing moment here.

about two years ago, i found this site,, which has all the downloadable mp3s of her live performances, acoustic recordings, remix versions etc that i could get my hands on. i must have spent the entire night and day downloading and listening to them in full volume as if she had her concert in the four corners of my room.

i remember refusing a date with T that time because i was so overwhelmed with my newfound loot. i chose to stay home and listen to the downloads instead of going out with him. :p


just this summer, i asked my sister to get me a copy of A Comic Book Tattoo when she came home from New York. and yes, she brought me one albeit incessant whines that the "book" was too big and too heavy she had to have it shipped along with her other stuff in a balikbayan box.

another friend also came home last week of May just in time for the release of the latest Abnormally Attracted to Sin album last May 18. so yes, i got them all. ;)


one fine day of surfing around pinoyexchange, i chanced on a post which invited toriphiles in the Philippines to sign up to a yahoogroup and eventually attend occasional meet ups! thus on that fateful day of August 21, i met more fans in the packed Conspiracy Bar in Visayas Ave. it was a pre-birthday gig of Tori who celebrates her day every 22nd of August. i heard they have been doing this for about 5 years yet i've only heard about it now, eek!

guest performers were Isha Abubakar, Kate Torralba, Angel Aquino (who read some poems), a band called Matilda, college schoolmate Khavn de la Cruz, Tao Aves, Divine, Aba Dalena, the gorgeous Wawi Navarossa and Nerissa Guevarra who did an interpretative dance.

i have to specially say how amazed i was of Kate Torralba's performance and passion to play Tori's songs on the piano. i am actually considering of getting her own album soon.

it was quite an unforgettable night. i had goosebumps all over hearing these performers sing her songs with utter reverence. but it was more heartwarming being in a roomful of people who knew her songs by heart too.

and i'm more glad to say i've found another friend In Alden, the group's/show's captain hehe...and Siege who took the beautiful photos that night, and paid for my drink and the table charge (i think) haha! merci, friends!


i will forever be a toriphile. i used to have so many dreams of seeing her in my travels, like bumping on her in the airports or at a quaint cafe or some cd signing session, wherever. and i still look forward to seeing her perform live, how about starting tha petition, Alden! lol!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


my current comfort and chewy carrot cake from Bo's Coffee Club. best of all it is just 60 pesos, perfect for my ultra-low budget days!

Monday, August 24, 2009

rendered sleepless

imagine the shock of my life when i came home one very early Sunday morning to find out that a man had been murdered inside our building.

we just brought T to the airport that time and after harried goodbyes and well-wishes i was brought home. i was so sleepy and tired and deeply melancholic. and such disturbing news was indeed too much for me to take.

the body was found that Saturday night but they had to wait for the police which eventually came much later that Sunday morning.

i tried to sleep that day in spite of the buzz i'd hear from downstairs. sometimes i would strain the words and hope to understand them all as i drift on and off some fitful sleep.

it became quite a struggle for a couple days. i couldn't decide whether to focus on the fear and the shock or languish in sadness once more.

there were nights when i'd get to sleep early only to be awoken in the middle of night thinking how a man struggled for his life just a few distance from where i am.

i would pass by his room everyday and i can't help but shiver each time.

just this weekend, we had a mass in the building to at least help us be at peace with each one. we had the building and his room blessed and the silly me even went inside the restroom where he had his last breath. it was an eerie feeling but i knew i had to see it and felt what i was like being there.

such a waste of life indeed. but what lies ahead we don't know really anyway. i can't do anything but pray for peace, pray for justice and for the assailant/s' consciences to continue disturbing them from hereon.


the long nights
have made me turn back to my books. i still have a lot of backlogs anyway.

i finally finished reading Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Such a poignant family drama about an act one had to keep from his loved one. A secret which eventually affected the actions and reactions of the keeper. I could not help but ask over and over again how a person who's supposed to love you so much can keep such an important detail in your life. i could only sigh in deep regret upon seeing their family fall too distantly apart as the story progresses.

i had to understand the timeline though, and so yeah, maybe times were really so different then and reactions of the people could be well understood. o-kay.

It is heartwarming and heartbreaking and i could not help but shed tears and slam my fists asking "why, why, why??" but ended and i had to tell myself over and over again that maybe it really was for the better. yeah right!


i'm glad we had the long weekend at least i had enough time to catch up on sleep by daytime when i could not do so at night. but i know i need to readjust soon.

i definitely need more inspiration. to be able to see life with more colors, and love and passion. wearing a groovy rose-tinted glasses could be an option. whatever it takes. a smile, a hug, a gentle shove, whatever.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tori Night '09

Thanks to the internet, for i found fellow Toriphiles here in Manila who are after all more active in meeting up and organizing events for her cause. Not really a mean, mean cause but something like holding a gig and meeting up for coffee while sharing insights and other stories about her influence.

This year, an event in celebration of her birthday (Aug. 22) has been organized. Dubbed as Assorted Fairy Tales, this will be held this Friday, Aug. 21 at the Conspiracy Bar in. QC. Description of the said event is as follows:

On the annual Tori Amos Night event, fans of renowned singer/songwriter and piano prodigy Tori Amos from all over the Philippines celebrate her unique artistry.
This year’s Tori Amos Night, dubbed as “Assorted Fairy Tales,” will take place on 21 August, the eve of her birthday. Pinoy Toriphiles (Tori Amos fans) will gather at Conspiracy Bar and Garden CafĂ©, located at 59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, to listen to Tori’s songs and words as rendered by her fans and respected local artists and bands. Among those who will be performing are Isha, Kate Torralba, Khavn Dela Cruz, Carol Bello, Matilda, Tao Aves, Scarlet Tears, and special guests such as Ms Angel Aquino who will read poems from poets that inspired Tori’s lyricism and "a female Pinoy alt-rock icon" who's going to perform a Tori Amos cover for the first time.
Tori Amos is among the most enduring and well respected musical artists of her generation, having gathered among the most dedicated fandoms and influenced many of her peers in the industry. She is considered a musical prodigy, particularly with her favored instrument, the piano; she began composing instrumental pieces and was given a full scholarship to the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Music at age five. She has since released 10 studio albums, been nominated for eight Grammy awards, and co-founded the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), a help line that connects callers to their local rape crisis center.

This is my first time ever to attend such an event and i'm pretty excited never mind if i'll have to go by myself. Oh well...Who knows, maybe next time we'll have her perform here in the country. Yay!

Monday, August 10, 2009

amidst a sea of yellows

...were specks of blues and greens each one yelling their rah-rahs for their team.

i could not relay to you all the technical terms but the entire time that we were in araneta just before 5 PM up to the end of the game at past 8pm was a real torture for me. i was closing my eyes most of the time in full suspense. i preferred staring at the score box with my fingers crossed instead of focusing on what's happening on court. lol.

we were behind up to the third quarter, keeping up or scoring a point or two once in a while but the three point scores from the other team which we thought almost came from nowhere proved to be utter surprises.

i wanted to go home in the middle of the game because the suspense was just killing me. it was almost stressfull!

i even heard some guys near me who were telling each other that they'd leave by 4th quarter in case things would still not change for the better.

imagine our frustration when the the score tied as the time buzzed off haha!

i was already composing in my mind what i was gonna say in case we did lose, that maybe it's Tita Cory's way of telling us to be humble at all times. that we could falter and can't be great all the time.

we just amused ourselves by screaming funny yells as "do it for Jiggy! do it for Kris!" if only to distract ourselves from nervousness and the anxiety of possibly losing the game.

phew, imagine our roars of glee and approval and relief when the overtime ended and we were still leading at 4 points. phew indeed!

this is my second game seen live which we've won. I'm so glad Tsak's lucky streak is still raging on hehehe....

Friday, August 07, 2009

rained on in boracay

(july 31-aug. 2, 2009)

this is what boracay is like on sunny, summery days.

this is what greeted us when we went there last weekend, just when Typhoon Jolina raged in the country.

the cold gusty winds and rain showers though didn't deter the tourists from enjoying nature.

frolicking on the beach was still deemed enjoyable in spite of the challenges of having to keep one's balance when the waves start rushing in.

the fishes in the the ocean didn't disappoint though.

our boatmen never stopped boasting about the possibility of us having to meet Dory, Nemo and friends, and yes we sure did! (not in the photo though hehe)

otherwise we spent most of our time eating, having coffee, drinking, and eating again...and yes partying till morning!

i sure hoped we had a better weather especially for most of my friends who went there for the first time. but what the heck, we still had a great time.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Nine Inch Nails in Manila

I did post it here in my calendar event!

so thank you, thank you Andrea for sharing with us your Patron tickets! otherwise we might have missed it altogether. *sniff*

i arrived pretty late to the concert because of some shower mishap haha! but we did got there on time before they actually started playing...but oh so sorry that we missed Pupil. Eden would have killed me had she been there wehehehe....

i was psych-ing myself up that Trent Reznor may not be as hot anymore since he's aged most considerably. i remember seeing an older Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind last year and can't help but exclaim how most of my favorite acts have gotten old already waah!

but surprise, surprise! Trent was still as hot as ever even more buff than i remember him (naks, close!).

here's the complete set list which i got from pinoyexchange:

somewhat damaged
terrible lie
march of the pigs
the becoming
i'm afraid of americans
gave up
la mer
the fragile
non entity
gone, still
downward spiral
mr. self destruct
the day the world went away
dead souls
hand that feeds
head like a hole

yes, they did play Closer! i heard they rarely perform this in their shows. and i could not help but scream my heart out when they did Dead Souls! i had it recorded but i was jumping and singing and shouting about that the video quality must be really poor hehehe...

i particularly appreciated the fact that they didn't attempt to play chummy with the audience like regaling us with Tagalog words they've picked up or saying how beautiful the Philippines or Filipinas are which i believe is too pretentious anyway.

the crowd was pretty tamed yet i'm sure most of us enjoyed and got infected with the band's energy. kudos as well to the blinding lights onstage and the resounding acoustics inside the coliseum. such a rock on night indeed!

oh just some trvia, Trent Reznor is rumored to have had more than friendship with Tori Amos. he's now engaged though to a Filipina who is a vocalist for another rock band, so i won't be surprised in case we get to see him in the country every now and then yi-ha! haha!

Paalam, Tita Cory

i'm glad my scramblings paid off, was able to join the Ateneo contingent who happened to have shuttle buses to take us to the Manila Cathedral for the funeral mass. we also managed to secure tickets so we could enter the church and witness everything that took place during the mass.

the experience was truly overwhelming. i couldn't help but shed tears for the loss but tears of inexplicable joy were also shed for that privelege of having known such a great person in this lifetime.�

Salamat, Tita Cory for reminding us how great it is to be a Filipino!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Farewell to that great lady in yellow

it's about time that i'd officially mourn.

i thought i can just let it go. that after knowing about the death of more personalities back then, and some close friends, and even relatives, one more news of someone dying can just make me go numb and not care anymore.�

but it's not. reality hits you and hits you to the core leaving you almost paralyzed.

i was at the mall today with my niece when i saw several people in yellows and seeing yellow ribbons tied around trees and lamp posts and i realize that Pres. Corazon Aquino is indeed gone. i felt like i shouldn't be at the mall in times like this. it just didn't feel right.i should be watching the news or livestreams or better yet stand in line there where she lays.

i saw myself texting friends and acquaintances to scramble for company only to find out that tickets were distributed just last night and there's nothing left already. argh!

i feel so totally frustrated at the fact that i got to line up for almost 5 hours just for an autograph of the Blue Eagles champions last year yet can't even get to view the late president now for i don't care how many more hours.�

thus i might see myself mulling and mourning in the confines of my room tomorrow, wednesday during the burial. maybe light a candle or two while watching some livestreaming on the net or broadcasts on TV, whatever. who knows i just might even get to drag myself all the way to the Manila Cathedral for the funeral mass, never mind if i can't even get in nor see her remains. i don't care. i know i just have to stop and do something.

i still have to mourn no matter how we all comfort ourselves with the idea that at least she is now in peace. i mourn because she is indeed gone, one good image of a strong woman who has encompassed so many trials and tribulations. i mourn because in a way, it is how i'd want to celebrate her life.�

i don't know her personally, well most of us don't. but as a public figure, a good figure at that she deserves at least a little of our time to just stop and salute the life she has led.