Julia Clarete

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Philippine Connection - July 10, 2002 Wednesday

High School Mates

The plan was for me to pickup Janu and Tots and head to Toyo to chill. Janu already had plans and Tots only had so much time so it was just me.

I dared drive all the way without the offered assistance of Dad to get "Joe" to drive me around. The driving experience was wild. It resembled my go-kart experience where dividing lines are almost completely ignored. Other cars dart in and out and it's up to you to hold your line - patibayan ng bayag. It's not surprising to be competing for highway road space with a tricycle (tricycle on a highway???). Even though I knew where to go, I had difficulty getting my visual bearing. What used to be rice fields were now packed (I mean really packed) with housing subdivisions and a slew of commercial complex(s).

Except for a little weight and a few gray hairs, Toyo is still Toyo after all these years - still accepting of life and still keeping it positive. Edick was also there together with their mom Tita Edna, who shuttles back and forth between the Phil and Arkansas. It was likewise good to see Toyo's sister Baby, who now has 4 girls of her own. I had to leave early enough to make it home by 10PM to tag along TJ (and his girlfriend Gold) for his jamming at City Jam with his friends who were playing that night.

City Jam

I was introduced to the band, Possum Belly, who were friends of TJ - Pacoy playing lead (also the Judo national champion), Ian who plays vocals, Paulo on guitar and RJ on percussion. Everybody seemed to know everybody - the band and the audience. There was cool vibe going on, good music and really great company...kinda like a small party in a friend's place.

Julia Clarete
One highlight of the evening was Julia Clarete, an attractive tv soap and movie actress who got up the stage, worked on the audience belting Jim Morrison (The Doors) and Bob Marley songs. I was blown away...I just had to meet her. More on Julia Clarete »

TJ was totally wired after doing a few songs with verve and gusto. I did a number myself, "Himig Natin" but forgot the lyrics halfway into the song...no worries, the crowd was awesome it was still all good. At 1ish, the place closed and we headed out to this "very cool" café, the Big Sky Mind.

Big Sky Mind Café

The place reminded me of "Penguin Café" - my old haunt frequented by artists and freethinkers alike. A pleasant surprise was the food. The chef knew his stuff - pita stuffed with chopped tomatoes, onions, herbs and a generous sprinkling of chevre, a pungent and gamey tasting goat cheese. I ordered pasta with crab-fat sauce (taba ng talangka). They also served their own wine, "Faust", a refreshing sherry.

We were all having a great time. Right across our table was 2 couples (Anthony/Az and Parker/Sam) that TJ got into a conversation with. Good vibe was there and we joined their table. The conversation was fluid and spontaneous. Not surprisingly, they had common friends. As the night drew on and more people started leaving, the remaining people joined our table and the fun continued. A convergence of like minds was happening. We didn't realize it was already 5:30 AM and the place had to close down. We capped the evening and bid goodbye with a group hug.

The whole experience was one of the rare moments you simply have to commit to memory.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you are a musician or band (or a music bar) and want me to objectively cover your next gig/scene for this website, email me.

Julia Clarette in Blogs of TheLoneRider

July 10, 2002

Reader Comments:

Love your webpage. Thanks for letting me visit Brookside Hills with you...Aileen (August 15, 2002)

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