Camp Notes and Quotes about the 1st Elements Songwriting Camp in Dumaguete

(First part, link to next part at end of post.) Ito ang unang pagkakataon ngayong taon na ‘di ko dinala ang laptop sa isang out of town activity kahit sigurado ang kuryente o internet connection. Siguro dahil ayaw kong ma-istorbo. Fasting sa distraction na dulot ng pagbabad sa social network. Tingin ko panahon ito upang matuto. Isang unique at historic activity ang pupuntahan at iniwan ko ang laptop upang makabwelo sa pakikihalubilo at pakikipagkwentuhan. Inisip ko rin ano na ba ang itsura ng aking note taking sa classic pen and paper. Pero dinala ko ang DSLR. Mabuti nalang. Maraming mabibilis na galaw at pangyayari. At rakenrol parin sa paghuli ng mga ito ang DSLR ni Tatay Monram.

First photo in my camera is the photo above with Gary Granada taken in NAIA terminal 2 while boarding the plane for Dumaguete.

Isa ako sa 59 participants of 7101 Music Nation’s 1st Elements. We were hand picked from a selection process. Makibaka was the song I gave to the screening committee which I performed for a panel composed of Ryan Cayabyab, Trina Belamide, Jungee Marcelo and Jonathan Manalo sa live screening session after being shortlisted for Luzon.

Elements is the first ever songwriting camp in the country that gathered artists, songwriters, musicians, “hit” makers, label representatives, new media, FILSCAP, and individuals involved in the mainstream music industry in a 5-day ask-anything-you-want-to-anyone lecture-workshop. The camp was held in Dumaguete from November 14 to 18, 2010.

Merong lecture module to guide the discussions. There are group sessions too. And time was also allotted for kwentuhan (and kulitan) with the artists, musicians, music producers and publishers who gathered in the camp.

I personally did learn a lot. As in, marami. Good thing at sanay ako sa information overload, wee! At nakakasabay ang aking pen and paper note taking sa pag-record ng lecture notes, direct quotes, and my exact thoughts to what I was hearing or encountering.

Don’t think of this post series as a structured article or essay. Di ko rin alam paano isusulat ang lahat. Lahat ng nangyari, lahat ng nakahalubilo, at lahat ng natutunan. Mabuti nalang may picture, hehe! Kaya heto, isang mix ng photo, notes, and quotes.

Travel and registration day was Nov 14, araw ng laban ni Pacquiao. There was a number of 5 to 15 minute brownouts sa araw na yun, pero pagkatapos noon eh mabilis na ang kick-in ng generator. Kaya during the lecture-workshop days walang naging problema kahit pa dependent sa kuryente ang mga presentation.

Ryan Cayabyab opened the 1st Elements at 4 PM and briefed everyone on the day to day schedule. He introduced the artists already present.

Above are Jungee Marcelo and Trina Belamide, hosts for all the camp activities. They introduced people, topics, lecturers, and camp rules. Jungee is the icebreaker man. Kapag may nakasulat na icebreaker sa program schedule, walang ibang facilitator nyan kundi si Jungee Marcelo. Trina Belamide was introduced by Jungee as the “Tell the world of his love” girl. Hehe!

From left to right that’s Jonathan Manalo of Star Records, Joey Benin former bassist of the band Side A, and Top Suzara former member of the band Freestyle. Si Gabby Alipe naman of Urbandub itong nasa photo below.

Sa NAIA terminal palang ay nagkasama-sama na kaming Luzon delegates. One coming from Luzon was Abby Asistio, si Abibay sa online series na Say Wuht!?! (starring Speedy Gee and Abibay). We talked about how humor videos create a big following pero syempre character based dapat ang pagkakadale. I told her about Kodao and our online videos and how it would really make an impact kung mai-fuse sa short political videos ng Kodao ang mga lessons that can be learned from fun, funny, and witty videos ng Say Wuht!?! She told me afterwards that they shot Say Wuht using a digital camera and iMovie to edit the videos.

By the way, the songwriting camp was held at the Bahura Resort and Spa in Dumaguete, Negros Occidental. Here’s what the place looks like.

Unfortunately walang panahon to swim in the pool. The sea here is for scuba diving to reefs in Apo Island.

We had dinner that day in Jun Sy’s beach mansion. White ang tema ng gabi kaya everyone was requested to wear something white.

Jun Sy (above holding a mic) by the way came from Tao Corporation, the main sponsor of the camp shouldering almost all the expenses needed to stage the 1st Elements. During the first camp dinner, they have this cool local percussion group play percussion renditions of a number of songs including “Ecstasy Ecstano”.

Nandun pala si Quark Henares, the director of Rico Blanco’s music video of the song Yugto. Quark gave a discussion about music video production towards the end of the camp. Quark (below) and his team shot their Rockumentary which will be aired on Channel V. Camp sessions by the way were webcasted a day after here courtesy of 7101 Music Nation and Philstar.

We had a photo session with Christopher “Top” Suzara (above) former member of the band Freestyle and composer of “Sabihin mo na”. Nandun din si Miguel Mendoza, one of the finalists of the first Philippine Idol. Miguel came to the camp as a participant. Magkakasunod kami noon sa live screening sa music school ni Ryan Cayabyab sa Robinsons, Ortigas. Unfortunately, he had symptoms and was diagnosed with dengue a day after arriving in Dumaguete kaya Miguel has to be flown back to Manila. I remember that while waiting for the evening program to start (and before we were color grouped) magkasama kaming nagkekwentuhan sa table.

Posing with Jim Paredes above and below with Urbandub’s Gabby Alipe (left) and Parokya ni Edgar’s Chito Miranda (right).

When participants were divided into groups, Yael Yuzon of Spongecola was the one assigned to us. Yael was fun and cool. But he did complain about having a sore throat. He drank a lot of beer. I learned a lot about his band and what they went through. Kinwento nya how he got stuck in the songwriting process of “Bitiw” and how his brother helped complete the Chorus lyrics by suggesting the line “maglalayag patungong langit”. When asked what the song was all about, he answered basketball.

Yael was also the first artist I’ve spoken to about protest music and the 43 health workers. May kinukumpleto silang album sa kasalukuyan at plano nilang ilabas ito sa January 2011. He told me that there is this one song in that upcoming album where they mixed bits and pieces of social reality with personal experience hence creating a love song. Hehe!

Syempre tinanong ko sya kung ano ang pwede nyang gawin para sa Morong 43. Thinking deep, he replied in one simple line: “Sige, kausapin ko si Kris.” Rakenrol ka talaga Yael.

By the way, astig yung Panda ice cream cake!

Above is a photo with my “van” mates (left to right) Mai, Denise, and JM. Van mate din namin si Flava Matics (collectively known as Q-York with his partner) at si Jethro. Naging room mate ko din si JM sa resort along with Roque Santos ng Star Records. Below naman is a photo with Angel Josol (left) and Lorenzo (Wigz is his nick). Angel, Kat, me, Rox, and JM became room mates for half a day in this temporary room while the official rooms assigned to us were still occupied.

Wigz was my group mate in the collaborated songwriting activity. When we performed the group composition “Lipad” he played the guitar in standard tuning while I played the guitar in DADDAD. But that is for another post.

And then Mr. C opened the evening program. And we all stood up to jam and dance to the powerful sound of the superb percussion band.

But we all dispersed when the guy below grooved to the center of the dance floor. Kasi ba naman, bubuga pala ng apoy hehe!

Next: Inspiration, creativity and OPM history



Filed under Everything else, Music

6 responses to “Camp Notes and Quotes about the 1st Elements Songwriting Camp in Dumaguete

  1. Charmi

    Nice:) Loved it!!

  2. Jungee

    thanks Karl, nice pics and good reviews =)

  3. Tribo's Cup

    Oriental Negros po ang Dumaguete… ang saya naman… too bad I missed it 🙂

  4. Aileen

    What a great experience for you! May I invite you to submit a composition for ‘Ely Sings Your Songs’? Please read this, for details:

  5. Hi Aileen! Thanks for the link. Will check. My songs are here though if you would want to check ’em out: and

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