Was watching another MYX documentary the other day about bands and gangs, and drugs, orgies and stuff. Okay. Just bands, local bands and the music scene from early 2000s onwards, featuring interviews with the members of Sandwich, Parokya, Kamikazee, Pupil, Slapshock, Hale, Cueshe, Callalily(?), Sponge Cola, 6cyclemind… Bamboo Manalac was also there, and Francis Brew of NU107 and The Dawn.
I thought Bamboo had the most boring things to say in that docu. He was like, “yeah, man, the energy of the crowd…”, and I was like, “Isn’t that the most generic thing an artist can say about rock concerts, the energy of the crowd?” Like, does he have any memorable story about playing out of town, being on the road? Like for instance, Ely Buendia talked about one concert in Naga City where a huge rock landed on his foot, which effectively ended the concert there and then.
This reminds me of a friend, who one time went with us to see NU Rock Awards in Pasay. On the way there, he was so hyped about finally seeing Bamboo. Bamboo played “Hallelujah” that night, if my memory serves me right. But my friend was disappointed. He went there a huge Bamboo fan; he went home raving about Aia de Leon and Imago instead. Those guys were awesome, he said. I thought he was disappointed that Bamboo seemed aloof during their performance.
I don’t think Bamboo usually does this “connect with or address your audience” schtick, if he does at all. And he never did that night. But he did what he’d usually do: his full of energy, high intensity singing/dancing/stomping. Which another friend from work isn’t too crazy about. He said Bamboo and Gary V. do the same thing and they both look ridiculous while doing it. And I thought, yeah, he had a point.
There’s probably too little in the documentary that fans of those aforementioned bands didn’t already know. Things about nu metal or kupaw, the transition from analog to digital, Bamboo’s return, and hugely popular anthem “Noypi”, pogi-rock, among other things. When asked about the pogi-rock label (coined by Quark Henares and the late Luis Katigbak), Yael Yuzon said he was kind of annoyed, or something to that effect; the members of Hale and Cueshe, they were just bemused.
Francis Brew probably had the most insightful things to say in it; 6cyclemind’s drummer-turned-lead singer Tutti Caringal, probably the least. S’ya ‘yong tipo na maangas lang magsalita. Pero parang wala naman masyado kwenta ‘yong mga sinabi. At hindi ako hater ng 6cyclemind ha, paborito ko kayang kantahin ‘yong “Sige” sa videoke at inuman.
I watched Ely Buendia’s short film Waiting Shed the other night. And you know what, you can search for it online. I read about this short long time ago. In fact, I went to the film festival where this short premiered and some of the people I met there said that it was… amusing, I guess? Maybe, mainly for Diane Ventura, who played the nurse in a waiting shed, drinking, eating, talking on the phone, and waiting for, I don’t know, maybe waiting for Ely Buendia to say “Cut!”
Better than Waiting Shed, is Diane Ventura’s Therapist. It’s on Viddsee and you should definitely see it. It has Lally Buendia in it, and the wonderful Ms. Cherrie Gil. You know, “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!” that kind of thing.
A few years ago, I watched Bang Bang Alley when it premiered on PBO. It’s an omnibus film feature, from directors Ely Buendia, King Palisoc, and Yan Yuzon, said to be about the culture of violence infecting our society. Bang Bang Alley opens with, well, “Bang Bang Alley”, a ten-minute short directed by Buendia, featuring Jimmy Santos as a security guard named Julie Andrews. Julie is chilling in a karaoke bar with some babe, and then he went to the other room and shot the guy with the microphone. Because he’s singing “My Way.”
I was able to watch only up to the end of the first segment, Yan Yuzon’s “Aso’s Pusa’t Daga”, with Bella Padilla and Art Acuna, whom you might remember from Jerrold Tarog’s Heneral Luna and Goyo. It was OK. If I remember correctly, Yan Yuzon even played one of the cops in the film. According to reviews, “Makina”, the segment directed by Palisoc was the best of the lot. For Buendia’s “Pusakal”, the consensus was that, it had interesting ideas, but it’s also uneven.
Why I didn’t watch the whole thing? The movie started late, maybe around 11:30PM. And the video quality on PBO was, kind of bad. And I had better things to do: sleep.
All this considered, I think I would still prefer to have Ely Buendia on the director’s chair rather than in front of the camera. If you’ve seen Quark Henares’ Rakenrol, you probably know what I mean. Maybe it wasn’t Buendia’s fault, maybe it was the writers’, but that scene where Buendia plays himself and dispenses some “rakenrol” piece of advice to Jason Abalos’ character, it was so… um, underwhelming? Cringe-y perhaps? Like Buendia was playing some dude who’s trying to play another dude named Ely Buendia? I don’t know, it didn’t ring true.
In San Lazaro, Buendia played a much smaller role. In the movie, he’s a detective who is also the cousin of Wincy Ong’s character. The thing with his acting is, he’s obviously acting. He doesn’t, you know, to use a Beatles reference, “Act Naturally”. Or maybe—BIG MAYBE—maybe it’s just me. In the movies, I can’t help but see Ely Buendia, THE Ely Buendia of Eraserheads, Pupil, The Mongols, etc. instead of the characters he played.
Still, for me, the best acting job Buendia ever did was when he guested in Oki Doki Dok, where he plays the school bully, one of Claudine Barreto’s classmates. He was in school uniform and he had very little dialogue. The show ends with Buendia brandishing a machete, chasing Aga Muhlach and Claudine around, as the show’s theme starts to play. You know, this theme song.