Friday, July 31, 2009

Guest Concert Review: Boyz II Men (Live in Manila)

Dear readers, I have the honor of giving anothe guest blog. Again, delivered by... (as was his original introduction) ...a first rate music lover, a vocalist par excellence, a one-time showband frontman, a Kundirana veteran, and a member of an almost-was boyband called Soul Purpose back in... dammit, i forgot when... and even he has chosen to forget that episode in his life...Should have been the linchpin of what became Jeremiah (THAT boyband...)... the man, the voice, and the frequent visitor to the blog called "Ang Tunay na Lalaki"... Mr. Carlo Emmanuel Rodriguez Balingit!!!


by Carlo E.R. Balingit

July 21, Tuesday, Another typical workday for me, running here, running there –typical. It was at about 11am when my attention was called to recieve a couple of Boyz2Men tickets, HA! To be honest, I was really hoping but not in any way expecting to get my hands on these. Initially, when I found out that the Boyz were flying in to perform in Manila, my brain was brewing some kind of I don’t know if you can call it scheme to... oh, blah-blah-blah. Don’t want this thing to run a page and a half long so I’ll cut the concert pre-cursor “short”.

“...dateless; ergo my ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ plan has come to the ‘End of the Road’...”

Boyz2Men”, dateless, plans didn’t really work out as “planned” ”, dateless, my son couldn’t watch it with me”, dateless, dragged 2 people in with me as to not waste the seats, dateless, and last before the least – dateless; ergo my “I’ll make love to you” plan has come to the “End of the Road”. Funny, before leaving the office for the Araneta, someone wished me luck and told me “Hope I meet someone I like at the concert”. Sadly, I knew where that particular person was going to be that night and that “that” person wasn’t going to be there at the concert. On to the show – hooray...

Got there a tad late myself since I was still trying to finish up some stuff at work and had a very difficult time finding parking. I hauled my flat ass out of the car and made my way with Kat and Goth ( the seat fillers) to the venue. 9:20pm. Show was suppose to start at 8pm. Of course as everybody knows, 8pm Manila time is about 9-9:30ish in real time. I asked one of the usherettes whether or not the show had started, to which she replied “ No, Sir.” Was I shocked? No. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself why people in Manila, hell, in the Philippines for that matter, even bother to use the concept of time for anything.

Upon entering, I was really amazed (not shocked though) that all the seats were virtually taken. I then ninja walked my way mid-row to where the seats were and snuggly rested my flat ass to where it was suppose to stay for the next few hours. Looking around before lights-off I noticed a few familiar faces in the crowd waiting for the Boyz to do thier thing. Yes, quite a horde of Pinoys were really looking forward to this night, haha.

Looking at my watch and asking myself whether or not this concert was going to start “tonight”, the house lights suddenly dimmed and a video wall started to illuminate the stage, then pop goes the Boyz. Nate, Shawn and Wanye open the evening with Cooley Hi Harmony’s debut single “Boyz2Men”, now I wasn’t really a fan of that single but as a rule opening acts should be energetic. On the up side, the song was turned into a medly of ye ole hip-hop hit and “On bended knee”. Down side was “On bended knee” wasn’t sung in it’s entirety (wtf?!?!). I mean “On Bended Knee!” Now as mentioned, a powerful and energetic opening number cannot be avoided, but why waste one of your biggest hits – disappointment there.

“...where’s the band? ...ooh wait... the band’s burned into the cd minus-one along with the overdubbed vocal harmony...”

So the 1st number was done and delivered and so the standard welcoming spiel was well on it’s way to the wonderful ears of the uber excited audience. I wasn’t really paying that much attention to the whole exchange of dialogue, but was more focused on other things. Things like, where’s the band? OOOh wait, the band’s burned into the cd minus-one along with the overdubbed vocal harmony. Yes, all of the refrain and choral harmonies were overdubbed. No, they didn’t only dub-in the bass, they dubbed all of it “ok”. I was really trying to convince myself that this was a Boyz2Men concert and them doing that would be next to criminal (enter the handcuffs please) sigh.

“...vocal delivery of Nate and of course the godlike Wanye was superb – but I must say that Shawn was sort of losing his touch...”

After the spiel, the Boyz started singing covers from thier Motown album and opened that segment of the act with Mr. Robinson’s “Track of My Tears”. Dancing was so Motown, but visually pleasing to watch, vocal delivery of Nate and of course the godlike Wanye was superb – but I must say that Shawn was sort of losing his touch – haha. Unfortunately, though they covered most of the good songs from that album they failed to perform one remake that was one of my personal favorites “I’ll Miss You”(argh) from their “Throwback” album. Sadly, it was really starting to seems like solo karaoke night for the boyz.

Finishing this entry is taking longer than I thought, it’s been a couple of days since the show, so do please forgive me for leaving some stuff out.

It was mid way through the show that they performed “4 Seasons of Loneliness” and “Water runs Dry”, but what really hit me was a “Doin’ Just Fine” the first cut off “Evolution,” which started out with Nate as solo. Yeah, it really hit me bad – found myself staring blankly into nowhere (bah.).

A common concert gimmick in their concerts was each of the Boyz throwing out roses to the crowd while they sang their biggest hit, “I’ll Make Love to You.”

For the closing number they rendered a song I haven’t heard in a while – “End of the road” (how cliche’). Again Nate and Wanye’s solo parts were great, harmony was canned, and Shawn was really starting to sound like someone kept stepping on his toes all night. Disappointingly they didn’t sing the Brian McKnight-written groove “Fallen” a personal favorite, I know it didn’t top the charts compared to the rest of their hits, but then again, It was the only song in that 2nd Album that projected a musical freshness in my ears.

Upon the inevitable demand for an encore, they worked the crowd for 5mins before Wanye steps out for another spiel thanking everyone for supporting the Boyz for 20 years. He talked about a lot of things, even mentioned that Mike might potentially return to Boyz2Men pretty soon – and they’re hoping that by the next tour three will once again become four (I’m looking forward to that.). Wanye then calls both Nate and Shawn to join him perform “Hard to say goodbye to yesterday”. The very 1st Boyz2Men song I remember hearing. After that number they finally closed the show with a “full” rendition of their fast hip-hop song “Boyz2Men” (wowzer – not.).

“...Boyz2Men will always be Boyz2Men... their music has been and will always be a part of my life...”

Boyz2Men will always be Boyz2Men. Doesn’t matter if there are 3 guys or 4 on stage. Doesn’t matter if the harmony was over-dubbed. Doesn’t matter if a band was non-existent. It’s about how their music has been and will always be a part of my life, a part of everyone’s life. From my teenage years up ‘til now, their music complemented a full spectrum of feelings, and probably even amplified them to some extent. Sadly, the best time to enjoy love music is when you’re “in love” – hence my semi-bland review. Thinking back to Tuesday, as I was seated at Araneta and looking at the sea of people watching the show, everybody was with somebody... somebody to enjoy the moment (sigh). Don’t misunderstand, I can probably get a girl anytime, no problem – Hell, I’m even eyeing somebody I really like at the moment (eyeing being the most accurate description - lmao).... just not sure if I’m ready for it (or vice-versa). Wish I could’ve taken her to the show but I knew I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) and she couldn’t as well.

So here’s hoping that by the time the Boyz do fly back to Manila I get to watch it with someone, just so that I can enjoy what Boyz2Men music is all about – a celebration of something I’ve grown unfamiliar with as of late... a celebration of love.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Plane Thoughts 2

I’m back with a little more pointlessness…

On the flight to Jakarta, we were handed the usual customs declarations card to fill up. And since I haven’t been off-shore since Marge was conceived and born, a few things seemed sortuvakinduva-new to me.

Item #13 on the "do you have with..." questionnaire totally glared at me, and I totally lost it…
I mean, what terrorist in his right mind would tick on the “yes” box, while on a goddamn plane?!

I can imagine a bunch of moronic terrorists saying: “guys… Look at item #13... they’re on to us! They know someone’s got explosives and shit up here… better make a run for it while we can!”

uhm... did the Indonesian immigration guys really expect the people concerned to answer this one honestly? geez...

* * * * *

oh, and check this out... i was so zoned out, that when we landed back in Manila, that was the only time I noticed that my cellphone was on all the time. Oh, and the plane didn't crash.

Imagine that...

* * * * *

'catch you later...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Plane Thinking...


(The article below is meant for humor. I would like to ask that the people inferred by the stuff written to just… ride, laugh, and hopefully accept my advanced apologies…)


God bless Philippine Airlines.

I mean, we’re talking here about a company that provides pure, unconditional opportunity and employment.

Check this out…

Only in Philippine Airlines (a.k.a. PAL) did I ever see flight attendants that seemed older than the eff-ing planes. And we’re talking about some really old planes here.
And you think PAL’s cost-cutting? Bullshit. The airline is so kind they don’t seem to care about the cost of the extra fuel it probably takes to get those fat flight attendant asses off the goddamn runway and airborne.

I mean, they’re so wide, they can only deal with the passengers in first class. Screw the guys like us over at couch. Aisle’s too narrow anyways, right?

PAL is probably one of the few airlines who manage to get blimps INSIDE their planes. And said blimps get paid for that, too. And yes, in the “unlikely water landing” I’m sure those nice women will serve other purposes as well.

God Bless PAL.

* I would like to state on record that the sortuvakinduva-above-described flight attendants on the flight I took was were nice, friendly, and took care of us well.


Speaking of planes, I heard the pilot’s perfunctory “the fasten seatbelt sign is now off…” spiel, and immediately had a mental rush of the potential ridiculousness of the statement.

I can easily imagine an infinite list of ways to finish that phrase. The immediate ones include:

“…the fasten seatbelt sign in now off… we’re guessing you’ve likely been holding back your pee for the past ten minutes, have a leak in you diapers, or have already wet your seat.
Whichever way, now’s your chance to make a run for the bedroom to try and escape the embarrassment.”

Or perhaps this:

“…the fasten seatbelt sign is now off… so for those losers over in couch, you can now pretend to stand up get something out of the overhead bins, or wobble over to another row and pretend to greet people you pretend to know. All to stretch your sad legs, while pretending that the lack of leg and elbow room doesn’t bother the shit out of you…”

Another one could go like this:

“…the fasten seatbelt sign is now off… I’m saying that, because you idiots might be too stupid to notice those tiny lights had gone out. Now you losers in the aisle seats can finally have your revenge on the self-serving assholes who took the window seats! Stop them from getting out of the seat row to hit the john. Now’s your chance!”


You guys don’t want any more, do you?

‘catch you later…


P.S. For those who want a quick million, I suggest you guys fly over here to Jakarta with $100 in hand, and run straight to the money changer when you land…

Monday, July 06, 2009

Gloria's Breasts...

Some things just write themselves effortlessly.

So Gloria Macapagal Arroyo got herself some breast implants around two decades ago. Big fat deal. In this day and age, there is nothing newsworthy about breast implants. Even for public officials like Prez Glo.

What makes this whole thing so bloody laughable is how Prez Glo’s entourage keep on trying to insult the Pinoy population’s intelligence in classic Arroyo fashion.

“Medical reason,” my ass.

The only physical purpose female breasts actually serve is to provide food for offspring. And I don’t think silicone produces milk. Unless it does, and it would explain the mental development (or lack thereof) of Glo’s kids, and of course the retardation of FG's brain.

Why not just shut up about the whole thing? Tell people that a woman’s breasts (and implants) are none of their business. Gloria wants to have something cosmetic done to herself, then fine. No biggie. Nothing to be ashamed of. Why not just say it as it is?

Gloria wants a bit of delicadeza about the whole thing. Fine. I must reluctantly agree. But why bait everyone with such a lame answer?

"Medical reason..." Geez…

If that's the best that the MalacaƱang spin doctors can cough up, then it's no wonder Gloria's public image has the scent integrity of a septic tank.

‘catch you later…

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ten Reasons Why the COMELEC Will Finally Automate the 2010 Elections

Ten Reasons Why the COMELEC Will Finally Automate the 2010 Elections:
1. The COMELEC have found themselves a great computer programmer who can work out a “glitch” in the counting, which will no longer require the assistance of “Garci” to cheat.
2. They have probably concluded that with Item #1 (above) in place, they can turn election automation into a regular megazillion money-making scam, while giving Pinoys the illusion of a “better” system.
3. Automation in the election process will mean that President Arroyo, should she run again, will no longer have to make those incriminating “Hello, Garci” calls. Upon completion of the voting process, the machines will say the infamous GMA version of “I… AM… SORRY…”
4. They have already killed the ingenious programmer of the cheat system mentioned in Item #1 so he’ll shut the fuck up.
5. The system has been programmed to declare Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the winner despite not being on the list of candidates.
6. The COMELEC has been taken over by Decepticons, and all those machines they are going to install will all turn into tiny robots who will hump Megan Fox’s leg, then proceed to take over the rest of Philippines.
7. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is Megatron in disguise.
8. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been assimilated into the gigantific COMELEC computer mainframe, and will proceed to possess every Pinoy voter upon contact with the evil election machines.
9. Old politicos have finally begun to realize the power of computers after “forcing” themselves to review Hayden Kho’s sex scandal recordings.
10. All of the above will not happen, because “at the last minute,” they will “discover” a glitch that will require them to “overhaul” the system, and Pinoys will have to “wait for the next elections” until we can witness another show where they will pretend to finally automate the elections.
'catch you later...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Movie Review: Transformers 2 (Revenge of the Fallen IQ...)

I saw Transformers 2. Wow. Whoopee.

And since it wasn’t a very articulate movie, I will instead enumerate my points as mechanically as the movie itself. Here goes…

1. Megan Fox is hot.
2. The plot is brainless. But hey, it’s a film by Michael Bay. A plot would be nice, but well-timed explosions are far more important than dialogue.
3. Having the supposedly “dead” protagonist come back to life in the arms of his hot, mouth-wateringly babelicious co-star has been done so often it felt like the movie’s “writers’” brains are/were on a protein shortage.
4. Megan Fox can have me anytime.
5. My head hurt from trying to distinguish all the robots from one another.
6. My head hurt from trying to understand what Megan Fox is doing among us mortals.
7. I thought I was going to see the Dinobots. Shit. No Dinobots.
8. Star Scream was reduced to a retard in this movie, just like everyone who saw it.
9. The panicky Latino sidekick/comic relief was pointless, useless, and was a total waste of time.
10. John Turturro’s underground lair was such a stupid story element.
11. Turturro’s ass cheeks were not even a story element. Absolutely no reason to be there.
12. Michael Bay is gay. For showing Turturro’s ass cheeks.
13. Megan Fox made me forget trying to look for a real story.
14. It’s only been three days and I already do not remember much more about the movie except that Megan Fox was hot.

15. Megan Fox is hot.

* * * * *

What by far more interesting than Transformers 2 was the absence of long lines at Robinson’s Galleria on a Sunday afternoon. And it’s even crazier to note that we saw this “phenomenon” merely half an hour after escaping the Transformers-seeking mob at Trinoma’s literally steaming-hot cinema level, where the airconditioning seems to have given trying…

I seriously can’t figure out what’s wrong with Robinson’s Galleria… (above, actual day photo...)

I assume that there should be a much more interesting plotline on that than Transformers 2.

‘catch you later…