Davao Bands: Kwatro Medya Wants You to Move

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Let me tell you this, Kwatro Medya is one, or if not tops the list of the grooviest Davao bands that you will ever hear. I'm not sure if they intend to be that way but each time I watch them play on stage, they always make me want to dance. I mean just move my body along with their rhythm and not "dance" like in the Step Up movie. What I'm sure of though is that their songs should be a part of every young Davaoeños "On-the-go" playlist. Their upbeat guitar play, upbeat drum beats, upbeat vocals (also upbeat vocalist) will surely make anybody feel that intense desire to just let go and let their body move. Unlike a few other local bands, Kwatro Medya is obviously not interested in putting you in a " senti" mood. What they want to do is to take away all of that "senti" feelings in your body and put you in the mood to party. Yes sir! Yes ma'am.  The Kwatro Medya band, all four and a half of them, wants you to have some fun!

The Beginning 

The story of how this band was formed is quite long and complicated. But basically,  Kwatro Medya is the offspring of Long and Dansoy's effort to turn the undermanned Nude Marry (their former band) into a group that in essence can be called as a full-pledged band. The troubles which are commonplace to forming a band made the going not easy for them. The years 2009 and 2010 were spent finding people to fill in the voids in the lineup.Nude Marry has seen a number of musically talented walk in and then out of  it's door. There rare are times though that the band has enough man power to practice and make original compositions with their instruments, however they were only limited to that. The band has no front man yet and their chances of finding one was quite bleak. Orvil of the band Spasm became their vocalist at one point but after a few gigs he bade poor old Nude Marry goodbye.   The beginnings of this band was a mess actually no matter which angle you look at it. But just any mess in forming a rock group, it gets straightened out eventually, if the some characters are just so inclined.


The last quarter of year 2011 was a time filled with urgency and opportunity for the band which is still not solidly complete. During that time, the owner of Saless Diner and Moozika, Moshe Papica,  already had the plans for the first Excursion concert underway. And since Nude Marry ( now the groovy Kwatro Medya) have already played countless of times in Saless Diner they have earned the confidence of the venue's owner which led them to be chosen  to be one of the bands to share the stage with Pedicab and the other acts that are slated to perform in that large music event. You probably imagine the boys of Kwatro Medya jumping up and about with glee that time right? Well, not exactly. How would you feel if you are just  months away from having your big break in the local music scene but because of some unforeseen circumstances you end up being two men (a rhythm guitarist and a vocalist) short? Well, most definitely bad.

When the three remaining members of the band (Long, Paolo, and Dan) thought that things could still get worse, it didn't. In fact two amazing and totally unexpected things happened. The first one is that, Pepot, Long and Paolo's former elementary classmate agreed to play rhythm guitars for their band. And the second one is that, Dan's friend AG, who apparently has a good singing voice came in the picture and filled the spot as Kwatro Medya's front man. And by the time they got everything that they needed, the band went straight to work. The Excursion 1 served as their much needed kick start as what followed is their steady rise to prominence in the local music scene.

Good Friends Playing Music Together 

Music-wise this Kwatro Medya is an awesome band, but what makes them stand out is, if you watch them perform, you could almost feel the organic connection that bonds every one of them. Long, Paolo and Dan have been friends since they were youngsters ( probably have seen their first tits in a movie together), and they have known Pepot and AG for quite a long time too. Basically, they are just a bunch of good old friends playing and sharing the music that they love to the rest of the city. Each time they step onto the stage, they don't give out that stiff aura of super seriousness which makes you feel that they do that thing as a job. This may sound as a cliche but it seems that they are having a genuine good time each time they play music. And this may also sound as another cliche but, yeah, they do have that thing that they all call "Chemistry".



The Interview 

I went to Saless Tekanplor one Friday evening to   interview Kwatro Medya  after their practice session. The interview took longer than I expected since they were a talkative bunch. But  I was able to get some really good answers from them though.

Davaoist: When you started out what were your intentions as a band?


Long: Basically, what we really wanted to do that time was to form a band in order to play in the Excursion one. But behind that, we just really wanted to have fun. Just for the sake of playing music. Until now, were already made 12 songs even though we have not released them yet, we still do it for the sake of making music.

Davaoist: What's the story behind the name Kwatro Medya?

Dan: It was Paolo who suggested to change our name (from Nude Marry). It was Pepot's idea really, the name Kwatro Medya. Actually the name has different meanings. The formal meaning was, because most of us are working, most of us have day routines, during 4:30 we prepare individually to for a practice in Saless.

Long: 4:30 is actually our meeting time. But at 4:30 everyone of us is still preparing, so we always meet up at 5:30. That is the other meaning.

Dan: The real meaning of Kwatro Medya, you need to see the band in order to figure it out ( looks at Pepot)

Davaoist: Pepot is the Medya?

Kwatro Medya: (Laughs)

Davaoist: As a band, what is your main musical influence?

Long: As individual musicians, we have very different genres, approaches, and very different influences. When it came to Kwatro Medya, we were more on fusion of music and it was evident on our first three songs. Those first songs were basically the only output that we can create out of mixing our different influences.

Dan: Because it was a mix, at the first stage of Kwatro Medya, it was quite difficult. It was really hard to achieve chemistry musically. Getting the output that we want was a struggle because every single one of us have were into totally different genres. We spent a lot of time to find the right combination just to make it sound right.

Long: We were all about fusion of music. It was hard, but in the long run, we were able to hit it because of composer and song writer, Paolo. He actually serves as the back bone of band right now. He creates a bass line and every and from that everyone else just follows to create a collective flow.

Davaoist: So, Paolo is the one into Dance Rock? You're a Dance Rock band right?

Long: Not really. We can't really say that. We just mix things up and try to create something good not minding which genre it falls to.

Dan:  The truth is there is only one artist that we like in common.

Davaoist: Who?

Dan: Daniel Padilla!

Davaoist: As a band, how do you prepare before a gig?

Pepot: Our most essential ritual before a gig is absolutely "SPAKOL".

Davaoist: SPAKOL?

( Preparing Before a Gig 101: "Spakol" means Spa dala *bleeeep)

Long: We also try to dress up formally in order to compensate to our very ordinary faces.

Davaoist: Do you still get nervous before a gig?

Long: Yes!
Dan: Especially when we played in Manila.
Pepot: I don't get nervous. I get nervous about my band mates.
Dan: "HAMBUGERO KA"! (laughs)

Davaoist: Best Gig?

Pepot, Dan, Long: at Saguijo! ( a bar  in Manila)
Pepot: I almost had 8 girlfriends when we played there.
Dan: It was the best because the audience interacted with us.

Davaoist: Worst gig?

Dan: Here at Saless. We didn't practice for two weeks and we played at an open mic night. There was only one person watching us and we totally messed everything up so after two songs Long just packed up and we followed.

Davaoist: What separates you from other Davao Bands?

Long: As a band, I could say it's the friendship that we have. When it comes to music, ahmmm, we are not the best band out here. There are a lot of really really talented bands in the city. But the problem with those bands is that they tend to focus too much on getting famous. Everything they do seems planned. It's not that we don't want to get famous, but our main focus is just to have fun making music together.

Davaoist: You just came from Manila, that was a really big event. How did you feel after that?

Dan: It was really awesome. It's like this. We left here as a band. We arrived there as a band. We experienced the whole thing as friends. And it doesn't get better than that.

Davaoist: What's the difference between the Davao crowd to the Manila crowd?

Long: It's totally different. In Manila, even if they don't know the band, they still listen to them and even applaud them. But here Davao, if they don't know the band they don't care.

Dan: No offense, but the crowd here is really hard to please.

Davaoist: Yeah. They are quite lousy and really hard to please.



                                                     Here are the members of Kwatro Medya:
                                               (ALSO CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE)
          (GET A SAMPLE OF THEIR MUSIC BY EXPLORING THEM ON SOUNDCLOUD)


Agustin Gabriel "AG" Aldave-Vocals



Paolo"Pao" Papica-Bass

                                       

Louie "Long"Saceda-Drums


Jose Mar"Pepot" Camia-Guitar




Carlo Dante "Dansoy" Villas-Guitar





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Davao Music: Short Report on Davao Music Scene and 15 Local Bands That You Should Check Out

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The “dark times” of our local music scene is finally over. An entire era of "covers-only” local bands is now slowly rotting and being eaten away by worms in its rightful place in the past. Its memory might still causes nostalgia to some but that feeling will be gone as quickly as it came as one starts to discover the evolved version of Davao music.

The Davao music scene is on its way up! A collection of new interesting bands have come out, each of them offering their own brand of music to the audience, all of them contributing in making the  voice of our young music community louder, and its waves more intense than it has ever been. The slew of upcoming Davao-bred acts is also intent on creating and sharing their own original compositions. I remember, there was this one guy who told me that, “This is the best time to watch local acts.”, just before the first band was about to play during a local music event. It was 2010, and I was reeking with skepticism towards the whole idea of Davao Bands playing their original songs in a music event. I was being stupid and I was quite certain that listening to them would be torture. However, as the band on the stage started to perform, my view changed. I was totally wrong! They didn't suck at all. In fact, they were great and all the bands that played after them were equally impressive. Local music fan boy was totally right! (Local music fan boy, if you are reading this. I still owe you a high five.)

How or when this whole phenomenon started? I’m not really sure. But this whole revolution was probably produced from the “energy” created inside the four walls of the early underground music spots like “Durian Bar” and others. They were the first to provide a creative space for our young musicians. They were also the first to provide the local bands with the freedom to create their own identities. And most importantly, they were the first to provide the bands a unique crowd— young Davaoeños who are both fed up (or even loath) “mainstream” and are hungry for something new.

Since the demise of the mighty “D-Bar” the “energy” is now being cradled and fed by new music hot spots in Davao like Saless Tekanplor. We also now have Davao Music Nation, an independent online publication that acts as the Davao Music Community’s hype agent. The pieces of the puzzle are actually already in place and that just gives you a really good feeling when you think about where this scene is headed to.

There is movement and there are clear signs of progression. The tipping points might still be a mile away however, if the whole just keeps on trudging forward, it will get there. Speaking about trudging forward, last month, five of the most premiered independent Davao bands rocked two of the best music venues in Manila.  A few weeks ago Jad Montenegro and her band bagged the 2nd place in the Converse Get Loud Band Competition.  These are actually just some of them.  In just a span of five years, Davao music which used to be “non-existent” and “unheard of” is now starting to command attention nationally.

If this piece has tickled something inside of you and made you want to start discovering Davao’s local music, we can help you out on that. Here’s a list of bands which we think you should really check out. We are pretty sure that there are still a lot of awesome bands out there and we are still yet to enjoy them. So yeah, here’s the list.

   


 Lost Tribe      

 
   

 Kamaggong 


 Jad Montenegro 



Anne Mendoza 



Kwatro Medya 




South Breed 



 Guiltrip 


 Long Bond Yellow Papers 



     Lucas 



 We Ride Dynamite 




The Sound of Go 



 Azimuth 



Thea Pitogo 



Tramonto 



David Vs. Goliath 



Rise From Oblivion 





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Davao Tattoo: This is How It Looks Like to Get "Bogzified"

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By: Markuz Dedal


For those who don't know yet what the term "Bogzified" means to get or just got tattooed by Bogz Flores. If you hear someone saying "I will get Bogzified later", it means that the person is about to meet up with Bogz in his little house of pain named I Am Ink. And for those who don't know this guy yet, Bogz Flores or let us call him for a while as the "Bogzificator" is an extremely talented and totally noteworthy Davao-bred tattoo artist.




Bogz's tenure as a student and a practitioner of the art of marking indelible designs on a living human's skin may still be under the ten year mark (not that the number of years means that much in the art world) but he surely is getting the hype and the constant flow of clients that can make newbie tattoo artists wish they could turn out like him. You could often hear his name get mentioned when two young Davaoeños talk about tattoos. If you ask where you could get a really high quality in this city, 7 times out of 10 the "Bogzificator" will be among the artists who you will be told to check out. In just a very short span of time, he has secured a spot in the list of the best tattoo artists in Davao city, and if such list really exists, Bogz might even be in it's top spot.




(The whole business of describing his style and commenting on the artistry in his artworks is something that we leave completely to you. All the tattoo pieces  that we got from his Facebook Page (Bogzified) were the ones which are truly over-the-top. There are even some pieces that just made us say " Woah! This one exceptionally over-the-top!". But we really want to know what you think about them. Just look at the artworks and just say something about them in the comment box below).




Now that we have agreed in making you our tattoo connoisseur in this article, check out the  10 mind-blowing examples of how it looks like to get "Bogzified".
























( All of the photos came from Bogz Flores' Facebook Page ---> "Bogzified". 
Check it out to see more of his work.)



Disclaimer: We don't own any of the photos in this post. We don't have a camera. We are just a bunch of punks.  



































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A 20-something Davaoeño's Guide to Drinking Coffee

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By: Markuz Dedal



Have you ever wondered how our lives would be like? How the lives of every person in the world would be like, if that herd of goats in ancient times didn't chew on those innocent looking coffee berries and thus making them the first ones to experience a coffee high. It is actually quite possible that we will have less than what we have right now. The world would have no skyscrapers. The progression of technology would have been slow. The life-changing books that you have read would have been left unfinished by their authors. No computers. No smartphones. No Google. No Facebook. No Tumblr. No awesome Hollywood movies. No life-sucking TV shows. No nothing. If we didn't have coffee the world will be slow and we will live in it like sloths. So, before I continue, let us stop for a moment to thank those who made this world an exciting place to live in. "Thank you ancient goats in Ethiopia."


A lot of young Davaoeños find it quite impossible to go on a day without coffee. This place is now filled with coffee heads and you can even be one of them. You'd probably relate to this. You wake up in the morning, you brush your teeth and then you make yourself a cup of coffee. You need to concentrate on something, you find a quite place to sit down and sip a cup of coffee. You are feeling tired but the workday is far from being over, you take a break and chug down on some coffee. The habit have completely embedded itself in your life. Just a little bit more and you can already call it an addiction. For some cases, it already is an addiction. But, it is an addiction that every hustling young men and women in Davao City can wear like a badge. 




According to a recent poll, Davao is seeing a significant increase in the number of serious coffee guzzlers in its population. :D That data led Starbucks to set up shop here in the city ( another LOL). Well, drinking coffee has no become a ritual of every modern day man and woman in this city and just like any ritual, there is a correct way to do it. Here's a somewhat guide to drinking coffee for 20-somethings in Davao.

1. Never leave home without fueling up.

There are just people who seriously require coffee to jump start their day. If you are like that but due to some unforeseen circumstances you are forced to leave your home without a coffee fix (ex. You ran out of coffee and you are already running late), you should really think twice before you walk out of your door. Grumpiness, unproductivity, and total loss of social skills are just some of the potential negative behaviours that you might display. Without fueling up when you really need to, you make yourself a liability to the economy and a threat to other members of the society. So, stock up and wake up early for you to ensure that you could load your system with enough caffeine before you face the day. If you need to drink 3 cups of coffee, go drink 3 cups of coffee. Do whatever that is you need to do to make you feel like a billion pesos. 






2. It doesn't matter what kind of coffee it is. Just drink it.

As long as it's coffee with caffeine in it, drink it. It's good for you. Decaf are only for posers. Being a poser and drinking decaf are both not good for you. It doesn't matter if it's instant coffee from a jar in your kitchen, a 3-in-1 mix in a plastic pack, a bland-with-too-much-sugar coffee like concoction from a vendo machine, the pricey artisanal ones in cups with your name on them, or even that heavy fresh brew out of your own coffee maker. As long as it tastes and smells like coffee and you make sure that there is caffeine in it, just drink it. Man, it's good for you.

3. Of course you can take photos of your coffee. Be proud to be a coffee head. 

Never think twice in taking a photo of the cup of coffee that you are enjoying. Just snap a photo of it and share it to the rest of the world through Facebook and Instagram with a caption that probably goes like "Ahhh! You never fail to make my day." or even " Thank you goats in ancient Ethiopia." Let everybody in the planet know that you love coffee. Apparently, coffee heads find a good photo of a cup of coffee being consumed as arousing as exposed cleavages or sweaty abdominal muscles. Yes, #coffeeselfies are sexy. 






4. Black with almost no sugar. If you can't enjoy it, switch to cow's milk.

Pure black coffee with just a fairy's sprinkle of sugar is the real shit. The genuine experience. The tradition that can never be improved or modified. If you can't enjoy this bitter but tasty concoction made by the gods then you are not a legit coffee lover. You actually need to love something in it's purest form before you can really call it love.

5. Be a boy scout. Carry coffee with you at all times. 

Coffee can get you going but only for a certain period of time. You can turn from a Jhonny-always-on-the-go to a Jhonny-feeling-oh-so-low in just a few hours after your previous cup. If you want to avoid hitting a slump throughout the day, it would be best for you to carry some reserves. Also invest on a reliable thermos coffee canteen or something and some extra packs of instant coffee in your bag. Doing this can ensure that you have a steady supply of caffeine and at the same time you can remain being that (your name here)-always-on-the-go that everybody likes.

6. Buy a coffee maker when you can already afford one.

Nothing can beat the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. The aroma alone can make you thank God that you are alive. It's quite true. When your coffee maker has brewed your preferred strain of coffee beans and is slowly filling a pot with your caffeine fix in the morning then, the aroma starts comes out; there's no denying that it is the best feeling. If you start your day like this every morning, no one (and I mean no one) will ever dare stop a go-getter like you.


(aside from making coffee with it, you can also do this)




7 . Learn the art of making cold coffee.

There are just days in this city when the sun seems to be on the mood to punish all of us. The days when going out feels like walking into hell and staying indoors feels like living inside an oven. These are the times when a steaming cup of coffee just doesn't turn you on and this is also the reason why you need to learn the art of making cold coffee. Well, you can't really call it as an art because it is so simple to do. Here's how. Dissolve some coffee in a glass half-filled with hot water, add in some sugar, cream, or even chocolate powder to taste, load the glass up with ice cubes, get turned on again, drink it up like you have just survived a week in the Sahara Desert. You should really try this. It will not just make you feel good, but it can also save the world from your constant ranting on Facebook about how hot the weather is.




8 . Share your coffee.

The goat who ate the first coffee berry probably went like "Heeeey guuuys! I just ate this berry and geeeez my energy went through the roof. Let's all go ahead and eat some and play all day then stay up all night just talking about how much fun we had! I'm in the mood right now! Meeeeeh!" You can be like that goat too.




If someone in your office asks if you have an extra pack of Kopiko 3-in-1 and you do, go give it to that person. If you just discovered a great place that serves great coffee, tell all of your friends about it. If you find a person who desperately needs coffee, go save that person! Be a nice coffee head. Be that awesome goat.



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Street Art Davao: Paw-Paw Licayan

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Paw-Paw  Licayan (PAW)  is one of the most prolific new comers in the Davao Street Art Scene.  For someone who just started making street art in August 2013, he was able to make a lot of legal walls look way better than their previous sad and boring state.  One of the walls that Paw-Paw saved was that humongous slab of concrete on Sales Bar’s roof top.  Back then, that wall was nothing but dead and grey, and a little bit depressing to look at. But because of Paw-Paw’s creative brain and his set of magical spray cans, the wall was turned into a pleasing piece of art. He actually has both the knack to find the walls that “clearly needs to come alive” and to paint those walls with designs that are so bold and so unique that it is impossible not to spot them.  

One thing that is really impressive about this artist is that he is so into street art right now that he just doesn't want to stop.  I actually saw him working on a wall on an afternoon during the Sembreak 2013 party weekend at Dahican.  Everybody got their eyes glued on the beach that time because there was some sort of skim boarding on dwarf-like waves that was happening that time and I was looking for a place where I could pee without paying Php 5.  I saw this lone wall that stood upright inside a wrecked building. It seemed to be the perfect spot. However, when I was on my way to give that wall a shower, I saw Paw-Paw and one of his mates already showering it with colors. The piece that they made there was probably the first decent street art in Dahican. Watching that scene can actually give you a really good feeling even if you are about to pay Php 5  just to pee.  It’s because that was passion right there in front of you. And that was also Davao leaving a mark in Mati city. 


Paw-Paw now works as a graphic designer. He is a disciple of minimalism and his favorite elements are simple shapes. You can also know that what you are looking at is a PAW artwork if you see a "single eye with an eye bag" which somewhat became this artist's signature. 

We  asked Paw-Paw a  few questions. He answered. You can read the exchange below. 

Davaoist: When did you get interested in street art?


Paw: I was interested in street art since I was young but I don’t have any friends who are in to it so I wasn't able to do the actual thing until my friend, Philip Orilla, introduced me to the scene last August.

Davaoist: Tell us something about your style?


Paw: I really like doing cubism art which is an abstract form of art and also I like to place eye bags to my drawings since I was young. I was inspired by Alien Workshop skateboards with designs of Don Pendleton which had these simple lines creating one nice art piece. Since then I was experimenting with shapes and lines then in years I came up with my own style and the eye bags are still there. lol

Davaoist: When and where did you paint your first graffiti?  How did you feel after that?


Paw: I made my first wall art in my house. I bought some spray cans and did it in our wall. My mom and dad didn’t know this until they got home. Thankfully they liked it and didn't scold me for that. Both my parents are very supportive : )  . It was very fun and I enjoyed doing it. It takes the stress out of my body haha.

Davaoist: Who are your favorite street artists?


Paw: Don Pendleton (I don’t know if he is a street artist but I like his artworks), Blic, Beastman, Phibs, Insa, Sano WPC, Reka, Yok, Matt W. Moore and lots more 😊

Davaoist: What is the main thing that inspires you when you make street art? 


Paw: To be able to let my children see my artworks in the streets when I become old. lol. I really like meeting new people in the process of learning new different styles in street art.


Here are some of Paw's art pieces. You can see more by visiting his Facebook page (click this to reach his Paw on Facebook) 



































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