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Moz Night

We began drinking at 3pm.

Pao, Clem, Law and I met at Lilystar’s HQ for a photo shoot. Its always a bit rough for me to pose without some sort of social lubricant, so I brought along a litre of Absolute Blue. We got dressed and Daphne took some pictures.

It wasn’t long till Pao and Sarah (Turbo Goth) introduced us to their little friend. Jose Cuervo. Antonette’s mom hooked us up with some Shakey’s. By then the sun had already set and it wasn’t too long till we had to head out to the studio to rehearse the songs on the set list.

The Moz covers we did were: Suedehead, The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get, Interesting Drug and The Last Of The International Playboys.

Here’s where it got hazy.

Lots of people. Lots of flowers. The Bernadettes. Turbo Goth doing Get Behind Me Satan. My family showed up. Standing on the drum set. It was hot. Steamy. We played a great show.


Cheska and I met up with my family at Whistle Stop. I had 6 shots of Chivas, A Baconsilog, A burger, Salpicao, a tapsilog, Coke Zero, Iced tea and a key lime pie…. Got home.

Sweet Dreams.

Ian Sarabia

(Related Blog: Your Interesting Drug)

From Bilibid With Love (Part 1)

(Part 1 of The Camerawalls’ experience in National Bilibid Prison. A written account by Ian Sarabia)

A wooden ship built by Michael Salvador

MICHAEL SALVADOR (original drummer of Orange And Lemons) gave us these things. Wooden crafts he built inside prison. But don't tell the guards.

I don’t remember how or why I woke up. I just remember being in the car with my bandmates. The Camerawalls. Headed straight and driving to possibly the most dangerous place in the Philippines. Maximum Security. Bilibid Prison. Third world.

As we approached the gate, the acid I had taken early that morning began to take an awkward turn. The hazy depths of recollection and introspective melancholy escape me now but we were all unified in the thought that we should leave all our valuable belongings in my car. Its the only way to enter a gig full of criminals, I thought. And why not, if only faking, stroll confidently in their midst.

As we walked down its moat a sense of wonder filled my senses. It really did seem like I was walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Hoping on hope I wasn’t going to end up like Veruca Salt. Lest I be judged. And not for lack of judging. For who I thought would be imprisoned in a land ruled by generations of corruption?

The guards at the gate seemed like Ogres. Enslaving their own kind. We were patted down and violated to perform awkward pleasantries towards them. We knew they had the guns. And they were happy to oblige. For in here they were the lords.

“In the kingdom of the blind. The one-eyed man is king”

We then were ushered up across the prison court and up a hut. In my mind knowing that at any given Sunday this could all go south. It wasn’t a prison for me at that point. It was the open sea. I was ready.

At least I thought I was until I ran out of vodka. D’oh! I thought. The heat and nervousness made me drink the last of my reserves. I was going to have to man up for this gig I thought. Two thousand Five Hundred Fifty Four convicted felons… I better not make any sudden moves.

As sober as I was I got bored and proceeded to speak to a slight man (thinner than Clem or Pao). blah blah blah. Can’t disclose double homicide what he attempted robbery did. And I was set and way too sober to play.

There we were around so many killers. And I felt ….. less than auspicious….. Then. We played. I felt like I was back in High School playing ball in the heat of a lazy day sun. I felt good. We rocked. A very special guest named Michael Salvador jammed. He was the original drummer of Orange And Lemons. He rocked. It made me wonder if all he did in prison was play drums. I asked him what it was like. I learned that so much rehabilitation works here. This was a society functioning and helping people in a third world live in peace and harmony. It was amazing. The cat I mentioned earlier. Mr. Double homicide found out that he was really good at painting. Actually most of them did. Their art strewn across the corridors and all along the walls. Their idle hands directed towards a more peaceful and stimulating outlet. These people were not bad. They were mostly just passionate people who got caught in an awkward phase. But it did not define them. I guess in prison they found themselves. Sometimes you gotta get lost to find your way home. See the forest for the trees. And all that humbug.

I spoke to them some more and realized that the prison wasn’t too far from the society we live in. I realized that we’re all in jail. Some of us just live in Bilibid.

Sid & The Legend Of Condo Guz

For once I’d like to deviate the attention on this blogsite from The Camerawalls by sharing a piece of documented relevance with answers to the question “Who was Ian Sarabia before The Camerawalls?”

Ian is a music enthusiast who calls San Francisco his home during the duration of his stay in the US to study Film & Art, trying to live a life less ordinary. I don’t recall the reason why he went back to the Philippines, all I can remember is that he used to help manage a family owned bar he named Amoeba (after that record bar in Haight & Ashbury streets) situated in the same spot where Club Dredd in Eastwood Citywalk now operates. He grew tired of the place one night and randomly found his way in a Makati watering hole called Gweilos where Orange & Lemons regularly perform. We met and it wasn’t love at first sight… he just loved what he heard and the original music we performed, a breather from his distaste for popular OPM he simply cannot relate with. That was 2004. So from then on he continued to patronize my old band till we became best buddies. He goes by the name Bryan.

Ian & Clementine after an O&L gig. (August 18, 2004)

Bryan and Clem after an O&L gig at Gweilos Bar (August 18, 2004)

We shared the same level of passion for music particularly with Britpop. We often hang out at his place getting intoxicated with alcohol and Beatles records/videos/documentaries (among others) and endless talks about music, life and love. He introduced me to the music of The Stone Roses, one of his musical icons and to Vodka, his daily nourishment. I was amused with his idealism and free-thinkin’-not-a-care-in-the-world attitude and his love for Madchester.

Bryan appears to be a Pinoy version of Ian Brown especially when he is in the zone while the baggy beats is on air and alcohol is kicking in. We even call him “Monkey Boy” for that near perfect display of ‘Mank Attitude.’ This amusement made me want to form a band for Bryan.

Enthused with the idea we embarked on a search for proper band mates ending up with a who’s who line up of musicians to back him up like Boom Jose of Violent Playground, Dylan Vizcarra (NU 107 DJ/Jack TV Host), Jerome Velasco of The Teeth/Daydream Cycle and KT Dela Cruz. And the following year CONDO GUZ was born with reference to endless nights lazing in his condo unit.  Accordingly, Bryan christened himself with a new name to suit his ultra cool, rock and roll imaging. From then on he was known as SID.


Condo Guz (from L-R: Boom, KT, Dylan, Nick, and Sid)

I have no idea how they pulled it off since things started getting busy and crazy with O&L promoting a new album, Sid and I hardly had time to catch up. And one night our music coincide with both of us playing in the same venue. His band and mine on the 9th of November 2005 performing baggy music no one dares to. And yeah, we were greatly entertained. Watch the video below of Condo Guz performing an excellent cover of a  Stone Roses tune called “She Bangs The Drums.”

Little do we know that the two of us will eventually end up as bandmates after 4 years of friendship bringing everything to another level. However uncertain I am on how Condo Guz came to an end, or how inexperienced Sid is behind the drumkit. I have every reason to follow my instincts of offering him a proper career as a musician. Friendship, passion, strong values and principles  — key ingredients for a lasting relationship as a band.

Many scorned at the idea. Some even called me desperate. I was approached by a number of seasoned musician with tempting offers. I just shrugged it off and patiently went on and christened him with a new name which is a duck soup to pronounce but spells two of the most influential music icons (Joy Division and The Stone Roses)  — IAN.

Now tell me, did I made the right choice? Oh, yes I did… since day one. 

– Clementine

Repost: Power Of Pop Interview

Reposted from Power Of Pop website. View original post Here.
Interview by Rebecca Lincoln. Answers by Clementine. Photo by Charles Buenconsejo.

The Camerawalls (photography by Charles Buenconsejo)

The Camerawalls (from L-R: Law Santiago, Clementine, Ian Sarabia)

Who are The Camerawalls and how was it formed?

The band comprises of Ian Sarabia, Law Santiago and myself. It was formed after my stint with Orange & Lemons (a short lived local pop sensation), with an ardent desire to channel whatever creative juices left in my system with the help of two long time friends and aficionados back in 2007.

Who are the influences for The Camerawalls?

Our obvious influences include The Beatles, The Smiths and various guitar pop bands from the 80s and 90s.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Ian occasionally co-writes and shares eureka moments with me but spends more time behind the drum kit. Law is our silent lucid bassist. I’m the melody maker and chief songwriter of The Camerawalls. I do vocal duties and perform the following instruments on our recordings: acoustic/electric guitars, the indigenous octavina and banduria.

Why do you play music?

Aside from the usual rationale like money and fame, we play music as a creative outlet to give a home to our songs, including exciting ideas and musical prospects. Performing also refines our act and gives us a lot of contacts. We see it as a profession but at the end of the day, we do it because it’s fun. Our music will eventually stagnate if we do not play it. Personally, I do this as a legacy. When you’re worn out and old, it’s nice to look back 20 or 30 years knowing you did something special, if not great.

Your previous album, “Pocket Guide To The Other World,” released in July 2008, was well received in the Philippines. Any plans to record another album? And if there were plans, any idea what it would sound like? Would it be very different from “Pocket Guide To The Other World,”?

We just recorded two new songs intended for a compilation album under Lilystars Records, my indie record label, entitled “The Sight of Love” and “Longevity.” It’s just a matter of time before we release it, maybe before Christmas when everything gets back to normal after a couple of deadly typhoons, which placed the Philippines under a state of calamity. A new full-length album is also in the works come 2010. It’s not a habit of mine to repeat what I did from previous works, so it’s safe to say that the sound would definitely evolve.

What was involved in the recording process for the album?

Normally, the lyrics come first. It’s much easier to put proper dynamics, melody and arrangement to a song when you already know what you will be singing about.

What was the lyrical process for making the album?

For “Pocket Guide To The Otherworld,” the lyrics are very personal. It was mostly related to current experiences and sentiments during the times we were developing the album and the band. Some of the lyrics hide facts behind profound words while others portray real emotions. We try to be real as much as we can and challenge ourselves in the process.

How much has changed since the album was released?

A lot has changed. We are happier now, more confident and very open to different musical stylings. We are still promoting the debut album and doing a lot of small gigs. Being indie gives us limited exposure and attention. A lot of people haven’t heard of us yet and we try to reach out to as many people as we can. And we hope this Power of Pop interview will make a difference. 🙂

Do you have any plans to play in Singapore?

We were once invited to play in Esplanade by a local promoter from the Philippines a few months ago but our bassist encountered problems with his passport so we were regretfully unable to make it. Given another opportunity, we won’t say no to playing in Singapore or the neighboring Asian countries.

What’s the future plans for The Camerawalls?

Our long-term plan would be to release and record 10 albums. 1 down, 9 to go. We also want to perform in at least 20% of the total number of countries in the world. There are more or less 195 countries in the world, which gives us a figure of around 40 countries. 1 down, 39 to go. 🙂

John Lennon – In Memoriam

October 9, 1940  – marks the emergence of a baby that is destined to be a rock icon. One of the best things that ever happened in the music industry in general, and one of the most influential household name – John Lennon. In some photos and angle, kids nowadays might mistake him for Harry Potter, but no, he is more than magical, he is real and a  legend in his own right. For green music fans, read on.

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.” – John Lennon

John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English rock musician, singer-songwriter, author, and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. With Paul McCartney, Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century and “wrote some of the most popular music in rock and roll history”. He is ranked the second most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history after McCartney.

Lennon revealed a rebellious nature, and biting wit, in his music, on film, in books, and at press conferences and interviews. He was controversial through his work as a peace activist and visual artist. After The Beatles, Lennon enjoyed a successful solo career with such acclaimed albums as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine“. After a self-imposed “retirement” to raise his son Sean, Lennon reemerged with a comeback album, Double Fantasy, but was murdered less than one month after its release. The album would go on to win the 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon eighth. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon number 38 on its list of “The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time” (The Beatles being number one). He was also ranked fifth greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone in 2008. He was posthumously inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. (source: wikipedia)

“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.” – John Lennon

I have been jokingly and seriously (sometimes with hate) regarded many times as Lennon’s Filipino look-and-sound-a-like, from physical features to vocal attack. However they meant it,  will be taken as an ultimate compliment from a provincial commoner. More than a decade of emulation and admiration spells the reason why.

Last year, for a Christmas eve fashion feature in the lifestyle section of The Manila Bulletin, I was invited to do a John Lennon-Yoko Ono inspired photo shoot and pose as the rock icon entitled “And So This Is Christmas.” Here are some of the pics taken by Charles Buenconsejo:

Clementine & Ana Sideco

Ana Sideco & Clementine posing as John & Yoko. Appeared December 24, 2008 on the lifestyle section of The Manila Bulletin. Photography by Charles Buenconsejo. Styling by Liz Anne Bautista. Location: Wombworks Studio.

My favorite shot.

My favorite shot. Barefooted moments.

War Is Over!

War Is Over!

Love Is All We Need

Love Is All We Need.

“You are all geniuses, and you are all beautiful. You don’t need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are. Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you’ll get it as soon as you like.” – John Lennon

That same month prior to the shoot I was given another perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Lennon’s work and perform alongside excellent musicians at a legendary venue for rock music – 70s Bistro. The bar owners organized a Lennon Night with Johnoy Danao (vox/acoustic), Julianne (vox/acoustic), Kakoy Legazpi (lead guitars), Rommel Dela Cruz (bass), Carlo Gaa (keyboards) and Benjie Santos (drums). Was lucky enough to be able to sing for the first time Lennon songs I never thought I’d sing and perform live.

Here are some captured clips covering his songs:

“Woman” from his last  album Double Fantasy (1980)

“Mind Games”  from the album of the same title released 1973

Now I’m with The Camerawalls, his songs especially those with The Beatles, are still a staple choice to cover during gigs. Although he is long gone, he has left a lot to enable everyone to re-imagine his glory days and reminisce what he meant to people he has touched — in ways big and small. – Clementine

“Imagine” from John Lennon’s second solo album of the same title. (1971)

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” – John Lennon