Archive for the Philippine Music Category

Philippine Music: Comprehending The Idiocy Of A Platinum Album

Posted in All About The Philippines, Philippine Entertainment, Philippine Music on October 13, 2010 by South Arts Festival
Jovit Baldivino: Platinum Album Awardee

Jovit Baldivino: Platinum Album Awardee

Just recently, I read about how Pilipinas Got Talent winner Jovit Baldivino received a platinum status for his debut album entitled Faithfully. According to ABS-CBN news, because of Baldivino’s recent success in reaching platinum, ABS-CBN will now host a major concert featuring Jovit Baldivino at the Aliw Theater on November 13.

Performing with Jovit Baldivino are the likes of Yeng Constantino, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Kim Chiu and Sam Milby as special guests.

OK – so what does a platinum album really mean in the Philippines? In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) declares an album reaches gold status when it has sold more than 500,000 copies. It reaches platinum status when the album has sold more than 1,000,000 copies. That’s in the United States.

Here in the Philippines, the equivalent body of the US RIAA is the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI). Now, the PARI has its own set of rules. The PARI awards a gold status to an album if it has sold 10,000 copies, and it awards platinum status if the album has sold 20,000 copies.

20,000 copies for a platinum album? That’s a far cry from the global standard of 1 million. Those 20,000 copies can be easily bought out by the recording company. In the case of Jovit Baldivino, it is plausible that the 20,000 copies were paid for and bought by ABS-CBN, and  were probably given for free during Wowowee or whatever noon time variety show they have. Of course, I merely allege.

ABS-CBN news does well to self-promote their own talent. After all, it is ABS-CBN who manages Jovit Baldivino as a talent, gave him his recording deal, and will be in charge of promoting his career further. They play his songs from the album regularly on their own radio stations (both AM and FM), and have him guest and sing on their TV shows, both for cable and the local nationwide broadcast.  As an added bonus , ABS-CBN has already cast Baldivino on different TV shows of the network to promote his versatile talent.  Then, there will be the articles to follow on ABS-CBN owned publications, websites and partner sites. We even haven’t tackled the other non-ABS-CBN media outlets who will also jump on this promotion from magazines to newspapers, and other internet and social media, like Yahoo, where I chanced upon it.

Clearly, there is some kind of bias in this kind of self-promotion that any average Filipino doesn’t see off the bat. You find the talent, hone  it and flex your muscles of self-promotion, covering it up with pretty ribbons and shiny gift wrapping. You throw around some money – and maybe even buy 20,000 copies of an album – and present the success to an estimated 90,000,000 Filipinos all over the country, plus some more from all over the world. What a promotional machinery! What a media giant!


The truth of the matter is – the platinum status of Jovit Baldivino’s album (and of other ABS-CBN or Star Recording artists like Nina, Kris Aquino, Charice Pempengco, Sam Milby, Toni Gonzaga among others) are not platinum as the world knows it to be. And yet,  you can read about it on the Internet, at Yahoo, and it will give the false impression to the rest of the world that his album has made the same sales as big artists in the US who hit 1 million in record sales. Or maybe I just think it does.

I believe that whenever a Filipino artist hits platinum, there should be an asterisk that says he sold 20,000 copies only, so as not to mislead others to think that they follow the American trend of 1 million copies. That’s just my opinion. I think the colonial mental state when it comes to music is somehow US-shaped, and this could be a misleading thing. Or maybe it’s just me who doesn’t get it.

Of course, this platinum status varies in each country. In places like Peru, the platinum threshold is only at 6,000 albums sold. But that’s probably because only Peruvians can understand Peruvian songs and singers.

Anyway – I’m not out to rain on the parade on the success of artists like Jovit Baldivino. I’m not crab mentality-ing. In fact, it’s great that he’s hit the big leagues and is making something with his talent. At least I know he’s got talent. There are some artists who can’t even sing for shit. Did anyone say Willie Revillame, or did I hear Kris Aquino?

I guess what I’m really irked about is how networks like ABS-CBN put all sorts of spin on the issue, manipulating it from its inception to its perch in the glitzy havens of showbusiness. They throw around  their monopolizing media powers to deceive their audience into believing that they bring out greatness with whatever they bake in their oven – even if  just because the minority of 20,000 platinum-building Filipinos (of an estimated total of 90 million plus citizens) paid for it.

Maybe there’s just something wrong with the rules of PARI to think that sales of 20,000 albums are good for a platinum status, even if, in reality, it doesn’t even make up 1 percent of the total population. And yet, there are the media powers who make it sound BIG, albeit their selfish interests.

I might be  wrong, but there is something idiotic about it. And I think it might be that they’re the idiots, or maybe I am.

Note: I don’t work for GMA (the network or the former President).

Philippine Music: Jon Schmidt Live in Manila!

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Music with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by South Arts Festival

Jon Schmidt Live in Manila

Jon Schmidt Live in Manila

Popular American pianist Jon Schmidt makes his first trip to Manila on February 27, 2010 to strut his stuff on the keyboards with his “New Age Classical” piano artistry. His work is often described as New Age music with pop elements of hook and melody. He is also noted for his treatment of harmony, counterpoint, and rhythm.

Jon will perform with fellow American Cellist Steven Sharp Nelson who has successful collaborations with Jon, Paul Cardall, Peter Breinholt amongst others. Steven has “Best Cellist” awards, nominations for “Best Studio Musician” by the FCMA.

Bringing youthful enthusiasm to this concert will be 14 year old Musical Theater prodigy Julia Abueva. Julia has performed in concerts and musicals in Singapore and the Philippines since she was 5 years old, sharing the spotlight with world class talents Lea Salonga, Monique Wilson, Deborah Gibson, among others. She was also handpicked by Oprah Winfrey as one of the ”World’s Most Talented Kids” and sang at the 2009 APEC summit for U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders. Julia is also the youngest consultant of Encore!, the Musical Theater School of Pocketful of Kids.

The Concert starts at 7pm on February 27, 2010. Tickets are available at P1,500 & P2,000. for ticket inquiries and sales, you can call 634-7888, 634-2888, 0939-495-4173. Via email:, Details are also on our website:

This concert is the first production of Encore!, the Musical Theater School of Pocketful of Kids with the following beneficiaries: Green Agenda Philippines and A Child’s Dream Foundation.

Our concert partners are:

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Astroplus, Odyssey Music & Video,, Guerlain, Bvlgari, Plains & Prints, Monsterdekals, Rogue Magazine and World Bangers Haute Dog.

Philippine Events: Big Fish Manila Presents Paul Van Dyk

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by South Arts Festival

Paul van Dyk is among the top deejays in the world, and to experience Paul van Dyk live is definitely something you cannot pass up. And now, the Philippines will have the opoprtunity to witness Paul van Dyk live when he plays live at the A-Venue Events Hall along Makati Avenue on October 13, 2009. Paul van Dyk will certainly mesmerize everyone with his trance music, and it will definitely be one party you will remember for the rest of your life.

Personally, I’m quite excited. It’s not quite often that you get a deejay with the caliber of Paul van Dyk visiting the country, so I am certainly looking forward to this rare event. Also, it’ll be great to experience Big Fish resident deejay Johnboy Lee, who will open up for Paul van Dyk.

A big heap of gratitude to the great minds of Big Fish Manila, who are responsible for bringing some of the best parties to Philippine shores. Big Fish Manila has brought in the likes of Hed Kandi, Slinky, Armin van Buuren, Housexy, God’s Kitchen and Ministry of Sound. Those are really big names in the electronic music industry, and certainly very crazy memorable events.

Paul van Dyk was named World’s No. 1 DJ by DJ Magazine in 2005 and 2006, and has remained in the Top 10 since 1998. As of 2007, Paul van Dyk has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide.

Tickets and VIP tables are now up for reservations with Big Fish Manila. Just call (632) 6327762 or (632)6348238.

For a bit of a preview, here is the very famous For An Angel by Paul Van Dyk – in a 2009 remix.

Philippine Music: Tune In To Music and Wine Radio

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by South Arts Festival

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb of Music and Wine Radio

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb of Music and Wine Radio

Music and Wine is an event hosted by lovely couple Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus at Martini’s at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Manila) every Saturday night. Elian Habayeb provides the music, and Ines Cabarrus provides the wine.

Music and Wine has been going on for over a year already. As can be expected, Elian Habayeb is the resident deejay of the evening, churning up some really cool tracks to maintain a funky ambiance while Ines Cabarrus showcases a few select wines for the evening. If you want to try the featured wines of the night, you’ll just have to show up at Martini’s. But if you want to hear the kind of music that Elian Habayeb plays, then you can catch a dose of it at Music and Wine Radio, which is the official podcast of M&W.

Music and Wine Radio launched their maiden episode on July 30, 2009, with a set put together by Elian Habayeb that featured tracks from Frankie Feliciano, Kerri Chandler, Teddy Douglas, Joe Claussell, Innervision, E-man and many other top house music artists from New York and Chicago.

On their second episode (August 26, 2009), Elian Habayeb featured artists like Tortured Soul, Quentin Harris, BKNY, India Arie, Studio Apartment and Carla Prather in a very ecclectic set of wonderful party music.

On the third episode of Music and Wine Radio released on September 17, 2009 (my birthday), Elian Habayeb put together a wonderful compilation of true downtempo lounge music, fusing together some smooth R&B, jazz and Latin lounge music.

The fourth installment of Music and Wine Radio was recently released on October 1, 2009, and it featured some deep house music exclusive from Chicago, New York and New Jersey.

All four episodes are readily available on the Music and Wine Radio site, and you can easily subscribe to it via I-Tunes, and it’ll automatically be updated on your I-Tunes library and ready for uploading on your I-Pod. Best of all, it’s free!!!

So you can get the latest lounge and house music as masterfully compiled by Elian Habayeb, and very much catch a glimpse of what you would listen to if you go to Music and Wine at Martini’s.

Personally, I really like the sets of Elian Habayeb. I may not be a regular attendee at Music and Wine, but I was there when it launched, and am a frequent customer from time to time. The music never fails to captivate me, and certainly Elian Habayeb really knows how to put a good mix together. And of course, there’s Ines Cabarrus, who is a very dear sister to me. She’s an expert on wines and alcoholic beverages, being an instructor of wine and beverage at the prestigious Enderun College. Yes, the lady knows her drinks, and even has a few cocktail creations of herself at the menu of Martini’s. Both Elian and Ines are also the co-authors of Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets, which is an awesome coffee table book that showcases some of the best restos in Metro Manila. So yes – Elian and Ines do know what they’re talking about, and are certainly very expert and capable on the field of Music and Wine. It’s what they are deeply passionate about, and you can certainly feel that good vibe on every Saturday night at Martini’s, and you can surely catch a glimpse of that vibe when you tune in to Music and Wine Radio.

What are you waiting for. Go!

Philippine Television: Urbantribe Is Making Waves On Philippine TV

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Entertainment, Philippine Music, Philippine Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by South Arts Festival

Tribomanila is a five-piece band that fuses electronic music with funky percussive beats that have people going crazy on the dance floor. Founded by Dj Roberto “Danger” Sanchez, Tribomanila was initially created to add some spice to the Philippine night life scene. However, at present, Tribomanila is making more noise on television, particularly in TV5.

Urbantribe is the name of the show that features the members of TribomanilaMinco Fabregas, Marcus Maguidad, DJ Roberto “Danger” Sanchez, Stefan Loewenstein and Alvin Cornista – who host various segments in this magazine format show that airs every Monday night at 11:30pm on TV5.



“Pinoy Beat” is a segment hosted by drummer Minco Fabregas, who also came up with the idea of the show while studying in film school in Cebu. The segment featues one-on-one interviews with Filipino achievers and leaders “Pogi Points” is a segment hosted by Stefan Loewenstein of Austria and Alvin Cornista of Canada, who give a humorous foreigner’s view on the Pinoy culture. “Downtime Zone” is hosted by the affable DJ Roberto “Danger” Sanchez, who gives tips to unwind and relax. While “Wingman” is hosted by Marcus Maguidad, who gives tips to males on things like dealing with chicks, gadgets and online finds.

Urbantribe is certainly making a lot of waves, and earning a lot of loyal support from viewers. Of course, the band Tribomanila is very sought after with their brand of electronic and indigenous fusion. Stefan plays the Timbales; Marcus does some beat-box and plays the percussions; Minco has a steady hand on the drums; Alvin adds some depth with the saxophone; and Danger puts a Latin-house foundation mix with the turntable.

And then – they also have their day jobs – Minco dabbles in mkaing AVPs and commercials; Marcus writes for a magazine; Stefan promotes a bar and cafe and Danger runs a DJ school.

“The challenge for us now is marketing the show. It’s not just about coming up with content, filming it and editing it but also selling the segments [to sponsors],” Minco said.

Hey, people, sponsorship. Show Tribomanila the money!!!

Check out video clips of Urbantribe in the Urbantribe TV Show Facebook Fan Page.

Philippine Music: Jazz Phenom Esperanza Spalding Going To Wow The Philippines

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Music on August 4, 2009 by South Arts Festival

Esperanza Spalding plays the bass, and not just like an electric bass guitar, but an upright bass and the double bass. Most women, and even men, shy away from the huge double bass because it’s simply too big  to lug around. Of course, she didn’t always start out with the bass. At first, she played violin and learned wind instruments like the oboe and clarinet before discovering the bass in high school. For her the discovery of the bass was like, “waking up one day and realizing you’re in love with a co-worker.” She sang and performed with an indie rock/pop group Noise for Pretend before she got into Portland State University on a music scholarship program, and then being encouraged by teachers to audition for no less than the Berklee College of Music.

Life was tough for her at the beginning due to the financial challenge that comes with living away from home. Things were even made more difficult since she had to carry her bass two miles to a train station just to get to school. At some point, she was broke, exhausted and just wanted to give up, but the jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny discouraged her and told her that she had the “X factor.”

Soon enough, things turned for the better for Esperanza Spalding, who toured as a bassist for the likes of Patti Austin, Joe Lovano, and even got a teaching stint at the Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest professors in the school’s history.

She has two albums under her name, Junjo (2006) and Esperanza (2008).

Esperanza Spalding is the 2005 recipient of the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. She has performed at The White House, on Jimmy Kimmel Live and at The Tonight Show with David Letterman in order to promote her album and wow audiences with her amazing gift of voice and bass, and its wonderful fusion.

Enough of me giving her praise, just check her out for yourself in the video below, or better yet get tickets to catch Esperanza Spalding live at the Sunset Pavilion of the Hotel Sofitel on August 15, 2009.

After the Manila performance, she will be back touring the United States at Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Monterey and even as far up north of the US as Anhcorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. The rest of her tour will be in the United States with only Manila, Philippines as a special out-of-the-way stop for one-night only!

Esperanza Spalding Concert Tickets Available Here.

Philippine Music: David Cook and David Archuleta Live In Manila

Posted in All About The Philippines, Philippine Events, Philippine Music on May 15, 2009 by South Arts Festival
David Cook and David Archuleta To Perform In Manila

David Cook and David Archuleta To Perform In Manila

American Idol Season 7  winner David Cook and his very worthy runner-up David Archuleta will be in the Philippines for a one-night-only concert at the SM Mall of Asia concert grounds this coming Saturday, May 16, 2009.

A lot of American Idol enthusiasts are very eager to catch David Cook, who was among the Philippines’ favorites to win American Idol Season 7. David Archuleta, who came in second to David Cook, during that season of American Idol, is also another favorite, and it looks like Filipino fans wiol certainly be treated to a wonderful concert featuring some of the best talents to come out of American Idol.

Tickets are fast selling-out if they haven’t been sold out already. But don’t fret – the organizers have stated that they will accommodate everyone – including last-minute concert-goers – at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. After all, they can fit a lot of bodies there.

I think the David Cook and David Archuleta concert will be a good one.  The concert after-party is rumored to be at Embassy, but too bad that the 2am curfew at The Fort might shoot down that idea.