Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Music Lesson #13

Sometimes that box of songs in your head can be unlocked by standing dead center in the crap of the world.

Today is the promulgation of judgment for the Joseph Estrada plunder and perjury cases at the Sandiganbayan. Joseph Estrada, for our non-Filipino readers, was the former Philippine president who resigned after being pressured to do so by a bunch of people assembled for days in front of a shopping mall. Yeah I was there too. Now a nigga like me, just like Tupac, just don't give a fuck.

So anyway I had to get up real early to go to court. My plates end with six so, it being a Wednesday, I couldn't use my car. I was trying to get a cab out of Commonwealth Avenue but no cabs would come on account of the protestors marching (more like riding in jeepneys strewn with FREE ERAP banners) to the Sandiganbayan - just a kilometer away from where I was. So, for the first time in years, I had to take a jeepney, which wouldn't have been a big deal if I weren't in dress shoes, tailored pants and barong, and lugging a heavy briefcase.

An hour later, my business finished, I decided to get back to Commonwealth Avenue to where I left my car. Again, because of the FREE ERAP protestors blocking the right half of the road, the jeepney dropped me off at the center island of Commonwealth (dubbed the most dangerous road in the world due to the extremely high motor vehicle related death toll). The driver just told me to cross to the other side. For those in the United States, crossing Commonwealth is like crossing the Los Angeles freeway. Knowing that crossing from the center island would mean certain death, I had to cross back to the other side of the road so I can use the pedestrian bridge. The traffic there wasn't moving much, just a bunch of trucks lurching and horns blowing. I had to hit them with my umbrella as I crossed, in a sort of Ratso Rizzo (from Midnight Cowboy) "I'm walking here!" gesture.

Then I had to walk a great distance through a public market and a tricycle terminal. Again, in dress shoes at ten thirty in the morning. As I was walking I wrote this song.

I've always wanted to write a song called "Larong Mama" (Man Games, my personal translation) ever since I heard the phrase from Carljoe our bassist, but the words wouldn't come to me. The song was to be the third in my gangsta trilogy (the two other being Caloocan and Animal). So there I was, walking across one of those long pedestrian bridge traversing Commonwealth, face caked with dust and exhaust particles and sweat, brow furrowed, muttering these words:

Larong Mama

Ang utak ko’y kamao
Palutang-lutang sa delubyo
Di alam san nanggaling
Di alam kung sa’n patungo

Pagdating sa dulo
Pag ang buhay mo’y natapos
Tumingin ka sa akin
Bibigyan kitang panggastos

Sa impyerno
Wala na sakin yan
Pitong taon sa city jail
Nagpalaki lang ’ko ng tyan

Wala kang laban
Pagkat ako ang dalubhasa

Pagtapos ko magtong-it
Ay derecho na sa casa


Wag mong isiping tabla tayo
Baka paluin ka sa ulo
Wag mong tawagin akong gago
Kakabitan kita ng gripo

Larong mama
Larong mama
Ayoko ng larong bata (2x)

Basketbol sa kalye
Laro ko’y bigay todo
Tawag nila sa akin ay
Kobe Asaytono

May bumangga sa akin
Napikon daw sa balyahan
Kinuha ko ang icepick
Leeg niya ay binutasan

Sabay takbo
Iniwan kong dumudugo

Tinapon ko ang ebidensya
At doon ako sumuko

Ng itapon sa kulungan

Kung gusto nyo kong bisitahin


tayo mag-inuman


Wag mong isiping tabla tayo
Baka paluin ka sa ulo
Wag mong tawagin akong gago
Kakabitan kita ng gripo

Larong mama
Larong mama
Ayoko ng larong bata (2x)

There. A new song for Los Chupacabras, the ass-kickingest band in these Islands. By the way, Erap was found guilty of plunder and acquitted of perjury. I am watching the news coverage from a small canteen near Commonwealth, admiring the neatly pressed shirts and the clean faces of the lawyers being interviewed by Korina Sanchez. I am sipping an iced tea watching the wheels, changing my sweaty undershirt, getting ready to get back, as they say in Vietnam movies, into the shit.

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