Monday, August 13, 2007

Music Lesson #8

July 8, 2007, Maximum Security Ward, New Bilibid Prison.

I am onstage with my band, Los Chupacabras. I look at the crowd, lifers all. Child rapists and murderers, they've been here for years and here's where most of 'em are gonna die. I take a sip of water nervously, step up to the mike and say...

No, not "Hi I'm Johnny Cash" but it might as well've been what I said. My Johnny Cash moment, singing my true crime badass street thug songs to my real fans -- badass lifers covered in tats, shirtless, blood on their hands. I wipe my hands and the stage blood comes clean off. I introduce our first song.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine named Iwa released his Palanca Award winning novel called "Mondo Manila." Khavn Dela Cruz was trying to make it into a film and he asked me to write a song for the soundtrack. I read a few pages from the book, sat down with pen and paper and wrote "Animal."

Animal

Gusto kong bumait pero yoko talaga
Ang pera kung di akin ay walang halaga
Small-time lang noong lumalaki sa riverside
Big-time na ngayong ang bisyo ko ay homicide.

Hala mga adok!
Hala mga pokpok!
Hala mga manong kagabi pa nakatutok!

Read:
The first line obviously makes fun of Death Threat's "Gusto kong bumait pero di ko magawa." I'm painting a picture of man who takes what he wants, pure streetbrawler id. Original gangsta. Riverside is what they call those slum settlements located near creeks. As for the "manong(s) kagabi pa nakatutok", it's a reference to sleazy old men who hang out in those bars in Timog frequented by young semi-professional hookers.

Handa mo na ang auto, tanggalin ang plaka
Para kung nagkagulo, wala silang suspetya
Pag punta ko sa Club, and VIP handa na
Kuha kayo ng chicks? Ang sabi ko YOU BETCHA!

Hala mga adok!
Hala mga pokpok!
Hala mga manong kagabi pa nakatutok!

Read: Taking off your license plates during a frat rumble is a trick I learned back in school a long time ago. I got so used to it I'd even leave my car sometimes in the parking lot without plates. One time, walking to the parking lot, I found to my horror a bunch of cops standing around my car, shining flashlights and whatnot. Scary stuff I will not do again. Ever. Because it's bad.

Chorus:
Animal
Animal kang bata ka
Animal
Animal kang bata ka.

Gusto kong manggulo, gusto kong mangbandal
Gusto kong maging babae at sa St. Paul na mag-aral
Gusto ko maging barista, gusto ko maging artista
Parang yung kalbong intsik sa La Salle Sex Scandal

Hala mga adok!
Hala mga pokpok!
Hala mga manong kagabi pa nakatutok!

Read: I remember in high school our prefect of discipline was named Ms. Delicana, a very stern woman (but fair too, to her credit). A lot of the boys would get called to her office on account of vandalism. I got in deep shit with her once when I destroyed a prize winning science project at the science lab with the help of a few friends. Yes, sometimes it takes several people to completely annihilate a science project made of cardboard and christmas lights. Anyway, after the vandalism shakedown some guys learned how to forge Ms. Delicana's signature and signed the armchairs in black marker "BAWAL MANGBANDAL - MS. DELICANA." That was pretty funny.

The St. Paul reference is on account of the old urban legend every Manileno boy knows. The guy in La Salle Sex Scandal looks chinese. Maybe he's not. The girl in La Salle Sex Scandal, the unwilling porn star (guy does her and then she does and gets done by a girl friend of the guy), is said to have committed suicide. But a source says she's alive and well and working for a bank in Makati. Wherever you are, I salute you!

(Chorus)

Ubos na ang kaaway ubos na rin ang laway
Binuhusan ko ng gas tinusta parang tinapay
Wala nang manghahassle, wala na ang sagabal
Tinawag ko si Amy at kami'y naghabal-habal.

Hala mga adok!
Hala mga pokpok!
Hala mga manong kagabi pa nakatutok!

Read: I was watching one of those murder documentaries on the Crime/Suspense Channel where the killer burned the bodies of his victims so they can't be identified. Habal-habal is a kind of public transport motorcycle in the Visayas where the passengers sit astride the motorcycle. Habal-habal, I think, literally means doggy-style. So the guy's saying my enemies be dead and I'm gonna call my shorty and do her doggy-style. Tada!

(Chorus)

Di ako gentleman di ka rin lady
Kung gusto mong subukan, halika dito baby
Di ako gentleman di ka rin lady
Kung gusto mong subukan, halika dito baby

Hala mga waiter
Hala mga bouncer
Hala mga dancer tinatawag ng announcer!

Hala mga waiter
Hala mga bouncer
Hala mga dancer tinatawag ng announcer!

Read: One of my dream jobs when I was young was to be the DJ at a strip club, call out the girls with my golden voice all like "And now, dancing to the tune of Bed of Roses, let's welcome Desiree!"

(Chorus)
Animal
Animal kang bata ka!

So there. After the show in Bilibid, at least three guys went up to me and asked me to sign their tits. Just like Elvis except not with hot groupies but with lifers, which was also cool. They promised that the next time I drop by Munti they'll have whatever I signed on their chests tattooed on them. I wasn't sure that time whether they wanted me to sign my name or the band's name so, if they are true to their word, they'll soon be bearing the peculiar tattoo "EASY! LOS CHUPACABRAS!!!"

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