Into the pit

cannibal corpse

I’ve been to mosh pits before, including its arguably more insane variant, the circle pit. But it was last Saturday night, at Pulp Summer Slam XIII, when I stayed in one the longest. By my estimate, I was probably at the pit during 90% of Cannibal Corpse’s 14-song set. I got lumps and bruises to show.

It wasn’t planned. I didn’t go to Amoranto Stadium seeking sadistic gratification. I went there to listen to live music, from bands I only see in magazines and on the Internet, to bang my head and perhaps do a little pushing and shoving… but only  at a safe spot and with my bros nearby. That, however, changed after a conversation with my tukayo, the writer Karl de Mesa, at the venue.

“Dude,” he said. “Slam ka?”

I gave him a safe answer: “Not sure.” And then I threw him the same question.

“Nope,” he blurted. “I’m too old for that shit.”

Understandable, I thought. Like me, he’s well into his 30s and isn’t exactly one may call “athletic.” Still, his retort got me thinking. Am I too old for that shit too? The question — and its thinly veiled challenge — burned and festered in my head. It nagged at me. It made me uncomfortable. The English power metal band Dragonforce cried thunder in front of us, but half my concentration was on that question.

I figured there was only one way to find out, and the realization made my amygdala, the “fear center” of the brain, kick into high gear. Those who say there’s no harm in trying aren’t talking about mosh pits. Continue reading


The Night’s Watch


Some nights you wish you can push back the morning. Last Wednesday night was one of them.

The event: the soft launch of news and lifestyle website Coconuts Manila. The place: Kasbah at The Fort Strip, a hip and trendy place that was, until about three beers later, an assault to my proletarian senses. The company: Interaksyon’s Boojie Basilio (not in photo), Business Mirror’s Jonathan Perez, Coconuts Manila’s Jonathan de Santos (standing), GMA News Online’s Carmela Lapeña, and her husband Manix Abrera, the noted cartoonist. Crazy bunch.

Crazy night, too: 90s alt rock music, soft lights, free-flowing booze. And girls, too. Tall, leggy types puffing coolly on their Marlboro Blacks, conspicuous even in semi-darkness. Were they really exchanging side glances with me, or was it just the drink in my hand? In any case, by the time my friends and I disbanded, roughly about 2 a.m., I was like Jack Kerouac atop Desolation Peak: drunk, blissful, without a care in the world.

Photo courtesy of Boojie Basilio.

Full moon friends


Taken last Saturday, at Alan’s Grill in hipster haven Cubao Expo.

From left: me and my red face; Boojie the self-described antisocial media expert; Anna May, a reluctant celebrity blogger during the heydays of Multiply; and Marky, travel blogger slash photographer slash punk rocker extraordinaire. Marky and Anna May I met through Multiply, Boojie an ex-workmate and close book/beer buddy.

There should’ve been three more heads there, Reese and Grace and Lot, three girls with awesome spunk, but they had prior appointments (two of them celebrating their name day that day). We didn’t let the absentees cast a shadow on the long overdue meet-up, though.

Over buckets of ice-cold San Mig Light and crispy pata to die for we banged around several topics ranging from politics to rants vs. the iPhone generation to — courtesy of Anna May — near-rape experiences. It was a full-moon night after all, perfect time for wild stories.

Looking forward to the next session already.

Photo courtesy of Anna Mae and her trendy Prada phone.

Little zombies

Got these in the mail today. Cool little zombie stickers that my good friend Annarki Manson sent me from Cebu. They came with a scribbled note that is nothing if not sweet, proof that she is as thoughtful as she is talented. Pretty too, if you’re into braids and multiple facial piercings. (Haven’t met her personally; she’s one of those awesome people I got to know through Multiply, back when Multiply was cool.)

Okay. My plan to Occupy Cebu is long overdue.