Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Night With Iktus

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MCA Universal filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord... (Ephesians 5:18-19 NIV)

There's a new Christian band out. Its name is Iktus. The name of the band is a wordplay from the Greek term ichthys, which literally means fish and is a symbol representing Jesus Christ. The group of Andrew, CJ, and Andrei Paniligan and Augusto Mendoza (2nd from the right in the photo above), is more into alternative music. The band started during their high school days at the Christian School International in Los BaƱos in 2005, and now, nine years later, Iktus, fresh from winning the Sun Broadband Quest, is out with its self-titled first album featuring the carrier single "IMY". I got a chance to chat with them.

Me: Who are your inspirations in your music?
Iktus: Internationally, we're inspired by Switchfoot (Iktus' style of play is similar to Switchfoot's), Hillsong United, Planetshakers, and Flyleaf. Among the local bands, our inspirations are Eraserheads and Sugarfree. But despite listening to their songs, we decided to stick to our own style, because we already sold our soul to Jesus Christ.
Me: Aside from your gigs, where do we usually see you?
Iktus: At our church in Calamba City. We're also part of the music ministry there.
Me: Why did you join the Sun Broadband Quest?
Iktus: We want to have a bigger audience, so that more will hear how God loves them.

It's a rare experience to meet a local Christian band here, but I hope Iktus will make it big and spread God's love to everyone. By the way, Iktus' album is now available via CD's at Astroplus and Odyssey outlets, mobile streaming via, and via digital downloads on ITunes.

PS: As of press time, Iktus is performing at a fund-raising gig featuring Sugarfree's frontman Ebe Dancel at IC's Bar back in LB.

PS Again (Inserting my Sporty Guy-ness here): I don't usually tend to remember names of my teammates during pick-up basketball games at the Baker Hall ballpark, but I found out that Andrei, who answered most of my questions, was one of my teammates in some games there.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Keeping it Awesome Minus the Bad Words

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What wowed me more after watching Audie Gemora in Cock was that he del-
ivered his dialogues without mentioning cusses.
Warning: If you haven't watched "Cock" yet, some spoilers are inside this write-up.

Someone invited me to watch the play "Cock" at the Whitespace in Makati. I was free for the night, so I went there. It was a play about a gay man (Topper Fabregas) who is looking to cut his relationship with his boyfriend (Niccolo Manahan) after meeting a girl (Jenny Jamora) and fell for her.

So the play started, and then, the boyfriend started venting his frustration to John, the gay man's name, and cussed a bunch of times. John also had his own share of cussing. The girl made her own appearance, and to my surprise, she also had times when she said f***(ing). I know it's scripted, but you can't blame me if I was surprised that Jamora uttered NSFW words while watching the play. I'm not really into women who cuss. Then came the confrontation scene between John and his two lovers at the boyfriend's home, where a fourth character stepped in, the boyfriend's dad, played by Audie Gemora. The father became the "mediator" of the other three and had a very important role in how the story will end up.

The straight play ended, and I was amazed on how Gemora kept a clean sheet in my "f*** count", i.e., I did not hear him utter cusses during the entirety of the play. I believe he edited his script in such a way that he can still deliver a masterful portrayal while not compromising his faith.

I know for quite some time that Gemora is a Christian. I also know that he helped in building Trumpets, a theater production outfit featuring fellow men in the faith. However, watching "Cock", produced by Red Turnip, a theater production helped built by Fabregas, Jamora, and Zamora, was the only time I saw him act in person. And man, his performance was amazing despite his role just entering late into the play. Indeed, he is using his talent to glorify God.

"Watch your words," that's what my pastor said after I had a rough basketball outing one time ago. After watching Gemora on Cock, I remembered it. Your tongue "has the power of life and death... (Proverbs 18:21a NIV)" Good praises can inspire others. A bad word could destroy everything. Also, take note that "Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. (Proverbs 21:23 NIV)" It's not just orally, but also in your written opinions. Whether you're a journalist like me, an actor like Audie Gemora, or a good speaker, you can make awesome points without saying bad words. Just pray to the Lord for the right words we should say.

PS: For more on Cock and the schedule of the performances, check it out here: