Dearest ______,

I’d been quietly arranging both flowers and life in my hometown when Bea suddenly broached the idea of flying to Manila for a long weekend with the band to play… and play. I said HELL YEAH within ten minutes. We’d been gigging together as Narcloudia in Singapore for around four years now, and my new non-status in life had just started making me more open to saying YES to most things these days. It was just about time, kismet and all.

Continue reading “#narcloudiaMNL”


Dearest ______,

Bjork still singing in my head:

It’s early morning
No one is awake


I’m back at my cliff
Still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
On their way down
I follow them with my eyes ’til they crash


I Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks


And when it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?




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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.


Dearest ______,

If you’re like me, you might also cringe at seeing yourself on video or hearing that foreign- sounding thing that’s actually your speaking voice when it’s recorded.

That’s how I really sound?” Shudder.


These sentiments also apply to when you record my drum- playing.

It’s kind of excruciating when these drum tracks are replayed to me because I hear even the slightest nuisance of a faulty buzz roll or the hesitation of a weak bass kick.



Continue reading “recording”

happy bixie

Dearest ______,

I have this slight obsession with throwing surprises.

So when Vhop mentioned that she was planning one for Bea two weeks before the latter’s birthday, a theoretical hand went shooting up inside my brain going “Me! Me! Pick me!”

If we were studying Birthday 101, I would be that annoying student right in front of the class who answered most questions and volunteered all the time. I can’t help it: I want everybody to have an amazing birthday.


True to form, I volunteered to do the decorations.
I find this task very fulfilling simply because:-

1) For birthday decor to become truly meaningful- akin to designing a real house- it ultimately has to bear meaning to the person you create it for.

2) In the process of finding what other people love, you eventually discover or remember the things you actually love about them as well.


For Bea (a.k.a. Bixie), it was, and always will be, all about the music. It is in her very essence, such that dreams sing to her at night and during the day, the world moves around her in diversely exciting cadences.

Continue reading “happy bixie”

turning tables

Dearest ______,

With huge excitement surrounding technology’s latest creations such as the Google Glass or the Oculus Rift or Samsung’s android phones the Mars Curiosity Rover, it’s such a tickle how the oldest gadgets can also garner as much buzz these days.


Case in point: the return of turntables. Yes, your parents’ “record player”. Yes, your grand parents’ “gramophone”.



Continue reading “turning tables”


Dearest ______,

Sometimes I find it staggering how I can get away with playing the drums for 7 hours straight following a usually hectic work week, which includes a slew of social and personal obligations wedged in between or right after.

I approach chaotic schedules as I approach playing- with my extremities sticking out every which way, whacking everything in sight. Drumming is basically multi- tasking. How else do you call the whole body doing various things that ultimately make sense in the end?

A few nice photos Jawo took of my three- piece girl band, Narcloudia, playing right before my eight- piece crazy bus Lupa and the Superstars, two weekends ago:




Continue reading “gigging”

an extraordinary life

Dearest ______,

Fact: I live a pretty ordinary life that’s luckily grazed the existence of some truly extraordinary people. When I say extraordinary, I don’t necessarily mean those that have shaken the world in colossal, historical ways. Extraordinary, in that they’ve probably made some kind of impact in mine- however big or small. And I’m always grateful for each circumstance this simple truth is established because as Chuck Palanuik once succinctly wrote,

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”

I delight in the knowledge that my world is full of the good kind of people. While there is doubtlessly an excess of those who inflict misery into the world, when I realize that I actually have more moments in the company of those who don’t, I become sublimely grateful. It’s like the universe were inspiring me to make good of the little piece of the planet I will ever get to see in this ordinary lifetime: no matter how small your circle is, that bit of space better be the best its diameter is ever going to get.


Only last Thursday, we had supper with photographer/ artist/ musician Wawi Navarroza at one of the neighborhood hawker centers to satiate her craving for some local food. She was in town to curate and show some of her works at Strip 2013 which is at the Silverlens Gallery this month.
Over food slathered in a bit of sambal chili and 6 liters of locally- made Tiger beers, the conversations stretched on until one in the morning: on living oversees (she had once lived around Spain and New York), music, art of course, and basically our lives today. If you know her, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that she has one of the loveliest souls.

On Friday, I then got an introduction to Zola Macarambon’s poetry by way of her collaborative work with artist husband Ivan on a Youtube video. You have to read the transcribed text to let them really sink in.


All week long I’ve had the funniest conversations with my family on Viber. It’s pretty hilarious when your parents try to get all “techie” and use smart phones. My 60+ year-old father on chatting online:
“Cannot type with this phone. Very slow. Can we call instead?” So cute.
Going back to one of our conversations with Wawi, there’s really nothing quite like being with your family (albeit online). Even from afar, they provide you with much- needed comfort in the familiar and, really, their kind of unparalleled care.


Over the weekend, I had band practices with my two awesome bands- in between more hilarious conversations and a literally sweet brush with Bea and Vhop’s thoughtfulness straight out of their European escapade.

If only for last week, I’d say life has been pretty extraordinary so far.



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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.