Augustana | Youth is Wasted on the Young

I’m having trouble writing lately, because honestly I can’t be honest, especially that this space is the last of its kind where I could at least be honest, so I don’t really want to be dishonest here. Nevertheless, I felt that strong urge to write right now, the same way an alcoholic man feels opening that door to an empty, loveless apartment, clutching another drink, in his cold twitching hands. Basically, this is just another night of me in tune of this thing playing heavily on my mind, in sort of cinematic highlight reel where shit is just easier to understand. To cut whatever long thing this could be, Augustana’s ‘Youth is Wasted on the Young’ lyrics are the tastiest/most relevant shit I’ve heard over my recent memory, allowing me to view myself of that baggage (or the lack of it) of my perception of who I am today compared to who I’ll be10 or 20 years from now. Pretty much of a good reminder for me and you right there.

Johnoy Danao & Aiza Seguerra | Bakuran

There are only few greater joys in life than treating ourselves with the sound that perfectly satisfies our ears’ and soul’s needs. And I couldn’t be any happier with the fact that Sir Johnoy Danao (the most sincere local musician I know in my lifetime) is finally releasing the Samu’t Sari album and is set to hit the market in four days. With the sampler released two weeks ago, I’m a little more than excited about the rest of the album. On top of everything else, ‘Bakuran’ which surprisingly has Aiza Seguerra on it is I think the biggest hooker, next to ‘Ikaw at Ako’ of course. Simply with that a-little-over-a-minute-clip (10:45-12:12), you’ll feel that feeling of dreaming inside of a dream with those underlying layers of sounds that somehow carry that unrequited (or not) and unsaid feeling  that allow you to tap on whatever the fuck that feeling is, and doing so in the most soothing way possible. Plus that Aiza Seguerra floater towards the chorus magically comforts in an instance when you don’t even know you needed comforting, bringing you into climbing skyscrapers unknowingly reaching those steaming piles of glorious skyline rubbles. 'Bakuran' is basically a torpe song which is entirely stunning, epic, deeply personal, and most importantly moving, giving a fresh touch on ways about breaking barriers of the famous friendzone. Trust me, this record could never, in any way, go wrong, no matter how such a respectable and huge name as Johnoy Danao is foreign to you.

Cheats | Newspaper Girl

Essentially the third Magalona-related post off this site next to this & that, further proving how lethal the Magalona blood is, music-wise, comes Cheats’ ‘Newspaper Girl’. Cheats is a 7-piece local band from which Saab Magalona is part of, with ‘Newspaper Girl’ as their first released track, with a little help from Ely Buendia on recording and production. Heavily armed with saccharine harmonies, lush arrangements, catchy  lyrics, and an easy-flowing beat, this counts as one of the best pre-summer anthems there is to fish right now. Give it an ear, here.

Phillip Phillips | Raging Fire

From a huge fan's standpoint, I can't let this pass without it mentioned on this site. That even with the current season of the American Idol further dropping to a definitive blandness, good things surfaces as S11 champ Phillip Phillips rages on with ‘Raging Fire’, the carrier single off his upcoming sophomore yet-to-be-titled album, that which is predicted to push folk-rock to a whole new ground once more. The cadence and progression and the strings and drums, purport-ly impacted with leviathanic charm and wide-eyed sincerity, all rolls into a solidly glorious Phillip Phillips sound I think we all fallen in love with since ‘Home’ days. Listen: here

Mt. Batulao: In 7 Things

For some moments toward the start of third quarter of 2013, my taste for adventure has gone stale. I dreamt of climbing more mountains but I ended up watching series and movies instead. I was a lame creature of comfort lamely exploring the vastness of every corner of my lame bed, and occasionally, surfing the virtual space with my beloved pc. Thanks to that November Mt. Batulao climb for snapping me out of that lethargy, opening up a whole new perspective. Though, I have had mixed feelings about the whole idea at first ― on one hand I was excited to climb a Batangas mountain after a very long time, while on the other I was a little skeptical after learning about a previous accident on one of its trails. Plus, I have always had that fear of heights, in which reading articles about how that Mt. Batulao climb would go officially left me crept out. Nevertheless, worries have done no harm to stop that wanting I have been stuck myself into. So on that dawn of All Souls’ Day 2013, we drove our way further southward to Nasugbu Bats where the mountain calmly sits. 

With regards to logistics, figures, expenses, how-to-get-there, and other informative stuff, I'm sorry I won't give you those and that here. There are a lot of better blogs out there that are better at doing that. Instead, I do this: 

Hot ‘n Cold | Being an exposed/open mountain with a considerable high elevation, expect a blend of cold wind and sunlit trail throughout the climb. And while the scorching heat of the blazing sun could leave your skin darkly burnt, wish for nothing less because the moment the rain drops, an extremely muddy sail would come out that could lead to an even difficult course. In our case, we were both lucky and unlucky to experience both. We started out with a steamy climb but turned out to a chilly end. It was all muddy thereafter. We were cold, exhausted, it was cloudy. Good thing we just left off those parts of the trail where we have to walk on ridge-like mountainsides, having those infinite drop-off, before it rained, which will surely make up for a nice one-slip-and-you’re-minced-meat situation.

Rolling Slopes | Mt. Batulao is comprised of a series of uphill and downhill trails. While anticipating for that sweet step at the peak, one might think of it as an endless up and down trek before getting into that strenuously fulfilling assault towards the summit. The alternating ascent and descent every now and then gives a tiring roller-coaster feel physically letting its climbers re-learn a classic life lesson, I’m sure we all already know about.

Romancing The Stones | The phrase, among any other if there’s any, is probably most famously associated with Mt. Batulao. There are actual parts of the trail starting from camp 9 up until the last stretches of the climb, where you have to literally have that inevitable romantic interaction with stones perfectly placed on those steep trails. Or not, lol.

Dancing Greens | The scenery all throughout the entire trail is almost the same, characterized by a nearly tree-less range that succumbs down to a lush of greens. The vastness of the foothills is covered by those grasses in synchronized waveform against the strong winds across the slope providing an effortlessly huge visual entertainment, the nature’s way. And this is probably one of the many reasons Mt. Batulao earned that distinction of being one of the most impressive mountains in Southern Luzon.

Rocks & Rolls | The mountain range landscape itself is its best asset. The knife-edge picturesque of the rocky peaks and the death-defying steep trails are exceptionally mind-blowing. Mt. Batulao climb, more than a physical activity, is actually a test of character – a test one has to fully accept to take. In fact, it’s deadly, in which everyone should be aware that a single wrong step could result in a grave effect as rolling over those steep cliffs and rocky ravines. The danger is always there, but with careful planning, unwavering focus, and an eager heart, everything should turn out well.

People Along The Way | Being tagged as one of the more popular mountain destinations near Metro Manila, a huge number of climbers is expected to have their weekends spent there. At the expense of a few minutes of conversation, coupled with a good disposition, warm hearts, and sweet smiles, expect to meet new acquaintances. After all, it’s not too strange to build friendships on mountain trails; especially with people you have a common denominator with, which of course is, mountain climbing.

Beyond Mt. Batulao | At certain points of time, much more curious than those who actually ask, I came face to face with the question of why I climb mountains. And more often than not, I don’t get myself a proper answer either. More so, questions such as what the hell I am doing there when in fact I could be at home, safe and sound and so on, clouds up my mind. Or I could actually get myself indulged to safer destinations other than mountains as there are lots of great beaches and turquoise waters throughout those hundreds of pristine islands across Ph. But still, the wondrous attraction mountains have, never ceased to have a spell on me. There is always that abstract feeling while conquering a mountain and seeing the world from a totally insane perspective, that I still could not, ever, explain what and why. Maybe it’s the fact that as I climb, my thoughts bring me to places beyond what’s real, partially leaving the littlest of worries behind those trails. Maybe it’s not me that conquers the mountain after all, it might be the mountain that conquers me, or me that conquers myself, as I constantly learn and re-learn those basic things and realizations I ponder when I’m away from the buzz of the busy and crowded streets. Whatever those reasons are, I wish to further not know. That feeling of falling in love with nature all over again every after climb should surely suffice. Because that feeling could never be defined in any way that would leave me satisfied.

Mt. Batulao counts as my 11th mountain-climb. But the excitement, even when I'm writing this, feels like it's still a first time. 


Coldplay | Magic

At the age of 20s, your mind will soon wander and wonder about the meaning, the purpose, and all sorts ‒ not just in terms of school, or jobs, but life. Many things will have to become so unhinged, or at least have the perception of recently being unhinged. More often than not, this would be the case for everyone, this unhinging, unfastening of the things that make sense, that will surface, that stays hidden, that obfuscation in between the things around, and in the world, and everything under the sun. That unfortunately, will all just result to an end just as clear as mud. And while we’re all busy with the search, I occasionally choose to get drowned with music. Sincere music at that. And when sincere music is what’s there to look for, nothing beats those straightforward tracks, Coldplay’s ‘Magic’, being a timely example. It’s a direct track, despite the vague use of magic in itself, no side meanings whatsoever. What you hear, is what’s there for you to get. Given that it’s hard to literally share what we mean ‒ to even find something in us that we wholeheartedly mean, to marry genuineness with the unerring ruthlessly direct approach. But Coldplay just did.

It felt good writing that, it feels good listening to this.

And it sure felt even better listening (generally speaking), and writing again.

Rascal Flatts | Rewind

Being a huge country music fan, and at the same time, largely acquainted to strong electric guitar riffs, Rascal Flatts’ ‘Rewind’, a track weaved in modern sonic trends with a twist of summer love clichés, has effortlessly secured a safe spot on my Valentine current playlist. While RF’s solid streamline of tracks basically sounds alike, they’ve managed to stay fit as far as the ever-changing landscape of music industry is concerned. Needless to say, I have had a fair share of those heavy ‘What Hurts The Most’ moments during those pretty glorious days and radio invasion. And while RF quite retains their trademark harmonies and unearthy country feels as encapsulated in ‘Rewind’, their current sound is weirdly non-reminiscent of their previous tracks. It must be the loose, uptempo, power ballad in it which leads to a distinctly different ground. The song and its official video (which was released roughly 10 hours ago) were obviously about rewind―and whatnots. The vid, however, was a bit mediocre, visually unpleasant, and disturbing at times; 0:57-1:01 which cues for a Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Ikot-Ikot’ feel. Generally, there’s nothing special about the whole vid, except if you’re a large Rascal Flatts follower.

Up Dharma Down | New World

About an hour ago, Up Dharma Down has released the full online version of their newest single, which also happened to be the track behind Globe’s most recent campaign, titled 'New World', watch the TVC here. Btw, UDD will be at UPLB Feb Fair one of these days. See you later then.


Lucy Hale | You Sound Good to Me

While the A chase heats further on the slick, PLL's Aria Montgomery hits the music glam with a track that pretty sounds good as its name – ‘You Sound Good To Me’. It’s already a month from that day it was released and since then, it sounds that good news are coming down her way. With the easy-going and feel-good vibrancies outpouring through its stronghold country framework, it turned out to be cray catchy, smoothly country. Well I don’t have much thoughts about the news, so let alone the track do the work on playing its wonders through your ears.

Keith Urban | Cop Car

I have been immersely drowned over this surprisingly poppy, un-country, Urban track for the last quarter of 2013 only to miss out that the single (and its official vid) is already released a few weeks ago. The oddly sentimental ‘Cop Car’ is basically a song about falling in love and getting in trouble. It’s a blinding track about young love dangerously connoting unlikely repercussions. Ironically, it’s still a very fun song to sing to. Fuse is another proof that Keith, at this point of time, could really never go wrong. Essentially, ‘Cop Car’ including all other singles off Fuse is somewhat un-Urban as he somehow escapes from the confines of the traditional country sound, this time, soaring over more banjo riffs tangled in heavy electronic guitars, but all boils down to that signature Keith Urban sound. Fortunately, this drastic change turned out to be a huge plus in terms of general audience reception, both from music critiques and the faithful Urban fans, judging from circulating write-ups on the web. 

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