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Magkabilaan

This is an album from a contradictory time, a period of change, contrasts and shifting power.

Though I considered myself a “peace man” sort of fellow, a “hippy”, Davao in the early 80s was practically a war zone and my awareness of life’s dualities, ironies and disparities grew keener. In a way I had more to lose than before. We now had two sons, Jed being the newcomer, and I would have nightmares of what crossfire and grenade explosions could do to a child’s body. A few of my city meanderings were darkened by the sight of human violence. Once I came upon two dead bodies in the middle of a street. Once I actually saw someone getting shot in the head. Once I saw someone getting beaten up by soldiers and stuffed in a vehicle. Once I saw someone being tortured with a cattle prod…

The poetry of two playful sons, a beautiful wife, a chalk-blue 500-peso/month bungalow on a hill, and rice cooking over a sawdust fire outweighed the dark stuff. But the dark stuff was there all the same – we moved out of the little blue house and back to Jessie’s family after a robbery.

Some people still refer to the title song as my “dialectical materialism” song! It’s actually more inspired by a Pete Seeger rendition of “Turn Turn Turn” based on the Biblical Ecclesiastes…

DEMS produced this album in a bigger studio with the same 2-mic set-up. I had more musicians with me on the project, a loose band who by force of many projects-in-common I had come to call “Bagong Lumad” (New Native).

This album features Popong Landero, Noe Tio, Javy Villacin, and Jerry Cava, as well as a first appearance of a two-stringed lute the Tboli call a hegalong.
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