The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Dead Blogger?

August 20, 2007

eLf was working in the Special Needs Unit of Riverview Health Centre. During break time I saw him reading a copy of Winnipeg Free Press. The title of the article was "Dead Blogs." This was about the millions of blog sites started ardently by individuals and then left and forgotten for good, primarily because of having become busy with more pressing matters and most likely having burned out. I saw the guilt in eLf's eyes. Yeah, eLf ideas blog site has been inactive for quite a long time already. In fact, I tried to save it by updating on his behalf once in a while. But, admittedly and understandably, I am just a second rate. I can never copy the passion and the brilliant flare for writing once exhibited and shared with us by eLf through this blog site. I think it's time for eLf to reactivate eLf ideas blog site; if not, this will join the millions of blog sites which, according to the article, have become litters of the Web--the dotsams and netsams of the world wide web.

So, for the meantime eLf is still contemplating on whether or not to continue writing on this blog site again, I will try to keep this "ghost writing" as regularly as I possibly could. Of course, I too have my own life to tackle.

Okay, let me see. Some divulgable significant updates about eLf...

He continues to maintain two columns in The Filipino Journal, the leading Filipino-community newspaper here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada--"Sa Madaling Salita," features articles about Philippine Culture, and the Engkanto series, the serialization of eLf's soon-to-be-published fantasy book Engkanto: A Bestiary of Philippine Mythical Beings Book One: Bantay-Katubigan.

He and his musical collaborator Emong Payaso began working on a new song, "Fireflies." They opted to use a new appellation, perhaps The Wizard & the eLf, or The Minstrel & the eLf, or something along this line; primarily because haLf man haLf eLf is really eLf's outfit when performing live, the members of which does not include Emong Payaso. So, it is just fitting that Emong and he record using a different name. After they finish "Fireflies," the duo might finally pursue the two new projects which they have been contemplating on recording since last year--their versions of Half Life Half Death's "Kapalarang K'wago" and Yoyoy Villame's "Magellan."

eLf is already excited to see the DVD of the Mike Hanopol concert which took place last August 11, at Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba, because the performance of his band haLf man haLf eLf was above average. They played four songs: "Just like Heaven" by The Cure, "Nagpapapansin, Pansinin" by Urban Bandits, "High School (Life) by Half Life Half Death, and "Susi" by The Dawn.

Last July marked eLf's one-year anniversary working as a health care aide for a health and home care agency. Among the institutions the agency has been sending him to, Riverview Health Centre remains to be his preference. At last, a month ago, one of the patient care managers asked him to apply for an opening, and the manager personally asked for his resume. After a week, he was called for the interview, in which he did well, according to the manager and the interviewer. To make the story short, the human resources department called him last week to tell him that he got the position. eLf had long been eyeing a position there at the institution. Finally he got it. Patience, once again, paid off. Of course, hard work and commendable performance are big factors as always. He still wants to pursue his nursing career. But, as eLf used to say to himself: "One step at a time."

For the meantime, he is excited. September is near. The concert of The Cure that he would be watching in Toronto is on September 27, 2007.

eLf is back in reading books on a regular basis. He is near to finishing a trilogy, the Lucas Aliens Chronicles: The Golden One, The Crimson Claw, and The Crystal Eye by Deborah Chester. He's on the third book (The Crystal Eye) already. He is yet to purchase a copy of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. He prefers trade paperback editions.

' starting to get chilly here in Winnipeg. Brrr! Winter is looming. Oh well...

eLf! for the deities' sake. Start taking over your blog site again. Don't expect me to cover for you. I couldn't keep up. When will you be back?

According to the "Dead Blog" article, four factors determines a blog site's endurance: something to say, compelling way of saying it, readers that read it regularly, and the passion to write.

Don't make me start to believe that you lack one or more of these factors. I've been a believer. I know you're better than just a "dead blogger"!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Mike Hanopol Aug. 11 gig in Winnipeg

Mike Hanopol
In my point of view, the concert was successful, primarily because Mike Hanopol--with the help of the local musicians who backed him up--was able to perform and deliver many of his hits in a superb manner--technically and passionately speaking. Hanopol, now a born-again pastor, also took the opportunity to preach his newfound belief to the audience. Anyway, back to music, he rendered such hits as "Mr. Kenkoy," "Bayan ni Juan," "Buhay Musikero," and, of course, "Laki sa Layaw, Jeproks," and a few cuts from his latest album, 'Lagablab.' The only two remarks he uttered that turned me off were, first, he slighted Pepe Smith when he told the crowd that, back in the days of Juan Dela Cruz Band, while he was focused on writing their music, Smith was busy indulging himself on the "you know what." I think this was Hanopol's attempt to emphasize that he was the chief songwriter of their erstwhile band--good intention yet left a bad taste. And considering that he is now a reformed Christian--as what he claimed to be--negative comments like that, especially about former friends or colleagues, is surprising and unethical. Next, in an attempt to distinguish himself from the so-called singers of the music industry ("singers," meaning, people who simply sing what composers give to them or just cover other people's songs), Hanopol presented a quite myopic view: He declared that singers/songwriters like himself, Freddie Aguilar, and Rey Valera are already endagered species. I refute Hanopol on this premise. This simply reveals that Hanopol is no longer in touch with the happenings of the music scene in the Philippines; for, if you're really a musician, you also care about what's happening in the scene, enough for you to know that, since the '80s, there's always a pool of songwriters and legitimate artists (bands or soloists) who are able to compose their own materials. The Dawn, Identity Crisis, Urban Bandits, WUDS, Philippine Violators, Gelboys, Alamid, Rivermaya, Neocolours, Eraserheads, Siakol, Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, The April Boys, and a whole lot more--whether popular, underground, or untapped. So, don't give me that claim that Filipino songwriters are already endangered species. Better to claim is this--that the endangered species are not the songwriters but people who know how to crave for something original and not just renditions and other cover songs. There will always be out there tons of songwriters and bands who sing their own materials. All one needs to do to tap them is to indulge oneself in music.

haLf man haLf eLf
Considering that eLf's band got to practice properly only once (the night before the concert), they pulled their performance off with a blast! The eLf has always been a ruckus onstage, but that night I felt that they nailed it really deep. In tribute to Filipino Rock music, they played songs from Filipino bands which immensely influenced eLf's own musicality and passion to get involved in the band scene since the '80s. They played "Nagpapapansin, Pansinin" by Urban Bandits, "Susi" by The Dawn, and "High School (Life)" by eLf's very own erstwhile band Half Life Half Death. Of course, their set wouldn't be complete without a Cure song. haLf man haLf eLf performed also "Just like Heaven." The eLf didn't fail to mention that Urban Bandits was among the pioneers of Filipino Punk Rock music, and The Dawn was among the instigators of Filipino New Wave music. The entire event was caught on video. Urban Bandits and to The Dawn, some members of such bands are acquaintances of mine.