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How the Tokyo-Manila Jazz and Arts Festival sang the song of my life as it is right now

because “ba-dump, ba-dump.”

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It is the first time that I checked out the Tokyo-Manila Jazz and Arts Festival at Greenbelt 5 in Makati. It was their final night, and they had to let the mass at the chapel beside them to finish.

Nevertheless, I stayed — to hell with the closing time of the train, to hell with the late night commute on the bus; this is my first time to hear jazz in person. There are just some things that you like that fell on the same night — Japanese culture and Jazz — and as a faint fan, I won’t let this pass.

The first band to play was The Brat Pack, and boy they started the show with a bang. “When I say yes, you won’t say no.” I have no idea about jazz aside from those tracks that are played on the now-defunct Dream FM.

“There must be something wrong here.” The fact that these kinds of music did not penetrate the radio market for long, the fact that I am here sitting in with what I presume are the middle class who want more jazz music, the fact that I, who I don’t even consider as a middle-class guy, am here, sitting and riding the jazz.

“You got to tell me, baby.”

There’s also Aisaku Yokogawa, who gave me a thing or two about Ted Ito. I’ve been hearing “Ikaw pa rin” on the radio, but I didn’t know that it was actually a cover of “Saigo no Iiwake.” The chorus hits, and I sang with him on my seat.

“Nais ko’y makapiling kang muli
Nais kong mayakap kahit na sandali
Kung pangarap ma’y tatanggapin ko
Ikaw pa rin ang iniibig ko”

He also did a rendition of “Voltes V no Uta,” which is a no-brainer for all of the fellow anime fans.

Alongside Japanese Jazz masters, I also heard Mon David and Charito do their thing. For Mon — as well as his son Carlo and daughter Nicole — they sang “Moanin’.” That track is something that I only hear on Kids on the Slope, and this is how it goes:

“Every Mornin’ finds me moanin’ (thump, thump)
I’m alone and crying the blues (thump, thump)
I’m so tired of paying the dues (thump, thump)
Ev’ry body knows I’m moanin’” (thump, thump)

Everyday of my life has been devoted to remembering my mistakes and the fear that I might do it again in many circumstances. I’m so pissed at myself, asking why I let that happen? “Bakit mo hinayaan ito?

Most people will not even dare to listen to my side, because they have been told beforehand of what happened, thus applying a judgment against me — only a few approached me to hear my side, and they believe that I am not that vile piece of scum that people think. I believe them because they did not let their emotions hamper their judgment.

I’m getting tired of explaining my side as well to others who will not bother listening to me, so why bother at all? I’ll let them judge me as a piece of f*cking sh*t who does not deserve to live just panicked for the sake of the friends who will end up betraying me. I trust people too much, I believe.

Everybody knows I’m shutting up — and I find peace in silence, and in isolation. It’s better this way, I think.

Sinabi mo ‘yan; di kami nagsabi niyan.” I shrug. “Feeling pa-special.” I shrug more. “You know nothing.” I shrug the third time. “Get lost.” So be it. “Dinidibdib mo masyado problema mo.” Think about it. “’Wag kang ganyan. Hindi ka ganun.” I take that as a good response. Many thanks.

“Every evening I am moanin’
Cuz of all I the trouble I see
Life’s a loosing gamble to me
Ev’ry body knows I moanin’.”

How many mistakes have I done? How many expectations have I undermined because I just can’t keep up with theirs? How many people have I broken their trust? As the song states, I’m moaning. Sick and tired. Nowhere to go. LOST.

With Charito, Mon sang the “One note Samba.” This has been playing on Dream FM and I grew up to like it.

“There’s so many people who can talk and talk and talk
and just say nothing, or nearly nothing
I have used up all the scale I know and at the end I’ve come
to nothing — I mean nothing”

I grew up for the past five years talking about either events, issues, ideas or people in the community. I’ve been blogging before and all those posts come to nothing these days. I’m not the kind of person who sticks to one format because in the end I will get tired of doing it. Shame on me for berating myself, but this is the truth, am I right?

I’ve already told people I’ll stop talking about this, so maybe this will be the last time. I don’t know.

Let’s not forget the team-up of Japanese and Filipino Jazz musicians. I was told beforehand that they may get in heat which will extend more time — and so they did. My goodness, I liked it. Regardless of which tunes they play, all that matters for me is that I stomp my feet at each thump, tap my hips to each ba-dump and I joined the jive that is Jazz. “Hallelujah.”

“Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing.” It’s like telling me that for all of my flaws, time passes and I can move on from what I’m facing right now. It’s like telling me that I am still alive, moving my feet to the thump and ba-dump of the jazz.

Thank God I am still alive to witness this.

This was supposed to be a write-up for the TMJAF’s final night, but it ended up being a personal, emotional narrative on how their music resonated with what I feel. That’s all for now.