anyways recently greenpeace has brought me to baguio recently where i was by God's grace able to trek my way through 12 kilometers of rough terrain... which would have been better if jeanie, jen and leyza were there but sad to say duty calls for them and it was only me tina, ac and lynie that were able to go up north...
now i am here in bangkok in a damp conference room in an office space that's situated along a ring of bars, clubs and beauty parlors trying to work but ended up blogging...
now that was quite a very long introduction to a very short account of how i got here...
well it started yesterday afternoon after a teary farewell to jeanie, my parents and kuya benjie that i boarded the plane to thailand where after landing in their airport had a difficult time getting a meter taxi, thus making me end up riding a 700 baht limo service that's driven by a suspicious looking guy from lao who offered me with a brochure for thai massage which i refused because i'm really very sleepy and the thought that the guy driving the vehicle that's taking me to the hotel is a pimp is more than enough reason for me to get on my knees and pray.
waking up later in the morning i ended up lost looking for the new greenpeace office thus causing me to walk idly in the rainy streets of bangkok (which by the way sucks... because i didn't bother to bring a jacket because its already 40 degrees celsius in the philippines and i was thinking that its the same in thailand) well anyways i got a call from arthur telling me to go back to the hotel because the office was closed so i took a cab where again as with everytime i'm in thailand i was lost in translation and caused me to get lost even more...thankfully i still got to the hotel... where i took a nap and afterwards try to retrace my way to the office and as i walked pass a long row of closed pubs i was able to find the office building thus making me end up here in this table using a mac that doesn't support firefox and reminding me of how homesick i am already and i haven't even spent 24 hours in thailand... hopefully tomorrow's another day...
we just had pancakes for dinner when we arrived at the venue at around 9 pm. it started 30 minutes later and we went home at around 1am. i fell asleep soon afterwards and eventually woke up this morning wanting to write something about this gig.
nofx was one of the very first punk rock bands that i ever listened to during high school via the sudden upsurge of epitaph record releases that flooded music stores. but it wasn't until my graduation day in high school that i was able to get a copy of their 1994 album punk in drublic that got me hooked to their songs and the rest was history...
...but a couple of weeks ago urban dub sent a message to deathtopuberty's myspace inviting us to watch their gig with nofx, one of the bands that stands side by side with greenday, mxpx, blink 182 and rancid on the top of the musical influences of my previous band payitforward, (i mean our drummer mark virtually has almost all their albums in epitaph records!) not to mention that it was one of the first cassette tapes that i lended to jeanie when we first started talking along with pennywise's about time and epitaph's punk-o-rama 1 and who am i to refuse this offer...
and the story of how we were able to get our hands on those tickets was quite a story already...
too bad though that i wasn't able to get more tickets because as the day of the gig approached i learned that more and more of my friends were interested in watching and i think it;s also somewhat unfair that people like albert sy of bad omen; or my nephew gato or our friend ac; and mark and laix of payitforward wasn't able to buy tickets...that was poor judgement on my part and i feel like a total jackass for booking only 4 tickets which i gave to jeanie, tina and jen...
fast-forward to last night well i must say that it was cool to see a lot of old friends from the 'scene' like agee of acid cow art collective, the amazing keith dador together with his camera kit that he avidly calls his 'kabuhayan package'; jeremy of the band strap on 7-inch; mona of slam demockracy; tado of live tilapia norman of jeepney joyride and a whole lot of other familiar faces from the late 90s punk rock scene that i was once part of... and as you can see it served also as a reunion among post adolescent sceneters who've already moved on from punk rock to whatever it was that we're all individually up to...
at around 9:30 urban dub was already playing, followed by fastpitch and then the ambassadors who played an excellent set including their song 'chaotic world' which was also included in middle finger record's 2001 compilation entitled: up yours! they were soon followed by king ly chee which was also one of the most intelligent female fronted hardcore punk bands that i've listened too since tilt and the muffs (though kill ly chee is way tougher than the latter two).
then came nofx who made me sing my heart out when i heard "Perfect Government" from punk in drublic and later on to the bottles to the ground from pump up the valium and then to the brews and the medley of the quass and dying degree and lori meyers.
and it was not totally an enjoyable experience since fat mike would here and there make fun of asians including filipinos as to why we like metallica so much... or when he poked fun at organized religion which primarilly focused on christians...(which makes the incident that involved them and underoath's dropping of the warped tour come into mind.)
and there's a lot of hardcore jocks who love to spew their sweat on unsuspecting people, apparently some things never change, and beer and an overload of testosterone never helps.
but all in all i think jeanie, jen and tine enjoyed it and it was a cool thing to see folks from typecast (who'se singer's female companion walked out on him), hilera, the guy who drums for rivermaya, yasmin kurdi among others to be treated just like any other audience.
while there were also folks from mtv whom i think have faded into obscurity since no one of the crowd there watches their lame shows, and there was a PETA booth which was in a sense cool that the gig at least stands for something though i'm not at all a fan of animal rights.
so we left at around 1am and outside the gate we saw a lot of poser punk kids and nasty crusties bumming out with their gin and jutes, while some are grobbling at the gates to get in for free, while there are some drunken kids who're beating up an urban dub poster.
and after a long walk with them whereupon we ended up at quezon avenue right beside pegasus bar we all hopped on a cab and went our separate ways and as i sat on the front passenger seat of the taxi home i realized that a lot hasn't changed with punk and its scene and its also a reminder why i no longer attached myself to it: it's part of the growing pains that you experience when you're young and you've always had this knack to stand up to everything that's considered the norm.
"All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope... all the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there's someone perfect... who might be searching for us. "
We live in a world where there are many stories—many ways that people interpret and therefore see the world. For example, just go back to the twentieth century and think about the stories that dominated
• Hitler created the story of Fascism and set out to rule the world through the Aryan race.
• Marx created the story of Communism and set out to rule the world.
• The Secularists created the story that there is no God and that we humans, left on our own in a cold and indifferent world, must learn to make our own way.
• Then came the new religions from the East. They said God is the world and the world is God. So they sought to narrate the world through a resurrected pantheism.
In the meantime, Christianity became increasingly privatistic. We stopped thinking about the story of God. The Christian convictions of Creation, Incarnation, death, Resurrection, and the return of Christ to establish a new heaven and new earth where Jesus is Lord over all creation as the story of the world was neglected. In place of the whole story we concentrated on this piece or that piece of the story. So the story of God as the interpretation of the world from its beginning to its ending simply fell into disuse.
Instead of focusing on God and God’s story, we followed the emphasis of the narcissistic culture and became interested in self. This concern for self was translated into the Christian faith, and into worship and preaching in particular.
For many the issue became “how can God help me?” How can God make my life better? How can I be filled with joy? How can I recover from a divorce? How can I get my life together and be productive? There is nothing wrong with these questions. People have to deal with these issues. However, the primacy given to these questions in recent years is narcissistic and not really what God’s good news is really about.
The good news is that God the creator has a plan for his universe. That plan has been revealed in Jesus Christ, whose incarnation, death and resurrection, and coming again constitute not only God’s story, but in reality the story of the world.
Now, here we are in the twenth-first century. We battle with contending stories of the world. Communism is still a way to view the world. Atheism lurks in the corner. Eastern religions are still attracting many people. And now the terrorists are saying, “We will take over the world and bring you all under Shira Law. You will become enslaved by our laws, and we will terrorize you until you succumb.”
In the meantime, the world is up in flames, so to speak. Europe is under attack. Africa is in a tailspin with Aids, poverty, and genocide. In a world that is disintegrating, somebody is going to narrate the world. Christians can’t narrate the world with a privatistic, narcissistic religion. So Christians must once again become united, not in whining about their pain and brokenness, but in a hope for the future because they are recovering God’s story.
In worship we reenact and proclaim that story. We tell and enact the meaning of the world because we proclaim the truth of the world.
The truth is, God created everything.
The truth is, we fell away from God through the sin of rebellion.
The truth is that God has become involved in the history of the world to rescue the world and restore it.
The truth is that God has rescued the world from the inside. He became one of us in the Incarnation. He died for us as our sacrifice, saving us from sin. In his resurrection, he destroyed death and began a new creation. He is Lord over all creation, and at the end of history he will destroy the presence of evil in this world and reign forever in the new heavens and the new earth.
When we worship together we are recovering God’s story. This story is much bigger than our individual lives. It is more than a narcissistic preoccupation with self. It is all about God who in Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit has won back the world for God. When we worship we reenact and proclaim God’s story to the eternal praise of God.
True worship puts you into God’s story. It changes your life because it puts your day-by-day experience of life—the disappointments and the things that make you soar—into the perspective of God’s story. It reminds you of the true story of the meaning of the world and puts into perspective the place your life has in the grand story.
Find your place in God’s story of the world which worship proclaims, and learn to interpret the struggles of your life within the big picture of God’s story.