Levy Abad Ang Peryodiko Vol.XV No.3 February 1-15
I sent a message to Jhayzon Paredes asking about the bands that he got involved with and he told me to drop by his place and he has the record of rock bands back in 1993. Jhayzon had organized three bands and they were the following: Palitaw (1994- 2004), FourSight (2004 to 2011) and the last one that exists up to now is Fhamathou (2012 to 2016). But before I write anything about the bands that Jhayzon organized in the 90s, I would first try to explain the context so we can somehow appreciate the process that shaped his band, band mates’ consciousness and the time.
What struck me with writing this article is the year 1993, which according to Jhayzon, was the time when he organized Palitaw band. This was the time when I was still in the Philippines and active in the cultural movement and occassionally was given a chance to gig at the Mayric’s Bar (later Sazi’s Bar) when Burt Chavez and Sazi Cosino were still the alternate managers. During that time, the fall of the Soviet Union’s revisionist regime was still fresh and you can still hear the song of the band Scorpions, “Winds of Change”
(1990) being played, as well as the song, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House (1986) constantly played by the mainstream media after the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. Philosophically, with the crumbling of the revisionist regimes (socialism in words and capitalism in deeds), post-modernism/ deconstructionism as a philosophy unfolded, and so it spread like wild fire in the field of culture that lead to new forms of art. From the traditional forms of writing music based on a system/ structure, suddenly, groups like Nirvana (1987 to 1994) exploded with their new approach to writing songs, power chords, growling style of singing and lyrical incoherence, for short new forms of artistic rebellion with a strong sense of post modern tendency.
In the midst of the cultural tsunami that struck during the 90s, I asked Jhayzon where he was in all of this. Was he in Manila? He explained through FB message that he was already in Winnipeg. He was in high school during that time and already starting to toy with idea of forming a band. High school means Del Pilar Academy in Imus, Cavite and Daniel McIntyre at 720 Alverstone St. in Winnipeg. He added that in the Philippines, he was not involved with any bands. It was only here in Winnipeg that he started to do some gigs in 1994. Jhayzon told me that as early as the late 80s, he was already listening to Guns and Roses, Bon Jovi and Metallica. Persistenly, I asked how old he was when he started to play the guitar. He replied that he began to play at the age of 13. He learned to play guitar through an evangelical church community program of giving guitar lessons and with the song “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made.” What an interesting evolution.
During this period of Jhayzon’s formation, folk, rock and country were the main themes at Mayric’s Bar and Restaurant (1320 Espana Street- in front of the University of Santo Tomas). By the 90s, new forms of music were growing so fast most especially in the ranks of the youth, and businesses realized the potential and tried to capitalize on the trend and created new icons of music that reflect the psyche of the young rebels of the 90s. With this, the likes of Yano Folk/ Punk Rock Band (1993), EraserHeads Rock Band (1989-2002), Siakol Band , Alternative and Punk Rock (1994-Present ), Slapshock Heavy Metal Band (1997), Parokya ni Edgar (1993),and many more, will make it big time and popularize new forms of music, the different forms of alternative music.
In the 90s, I recall clearly that most of the alternative groups usually perform and sadly, nobody cares until suddenly they hit the waves. At Mayric’s Bar, while alternative bands played, everybody watches television on the opposite direction. Yano, one of the favourites of the time was composed of three cultural activists, Dong Abay of Patatag and Erik Gancio and Onie Badiang, a sessionist of Joey Ayala’s “Bagong Lumad,” another activist from Mindanao. I had the opportunity of being with these three at a workshop organized by Musika Philipines in Los Banos where Rom Dongeto of Buklod, the one who composed Kanlungan (sung by Noel Cabangon } and Tatsulok (which was interpreted by Bamboo), Rey Asis, and Rossette Taganas were the facilitators. Another hang out of alternative bands during the 90s was Club Dredd, and the favourite radio station was NU 107.
Reflecting on all these reminds me of Jhayzon’s generation .Somehow, I have an idea of what really influenced them in terms of music and style. You have the North American influence of lyrical anarchism, as influenced by the deconstructionist trend in philosophy riding on heavy metal musical forms like Nirvana and Green day punk band (1986), which made it big in the first half of the 90’s. On the other hand, you have the Filipino Rock influence of alternative rock with socially reflective lyrics of Yano, Eraserheads etc. Truly, these are some of the tendencies that run through the minds of artists of the 90s that has a lasting influence in the way they make their music and write their lyrics. With this in mind, I guess it is time to focus on the bands of the 90s here in Winnipeg where my friend Jhayzon Paredes led a significant role in the music scene in the growing Filipino community which will be featured in part two of this article.
Levy Abad Ang Peryodiko Volume XV NO.5 March 1-15,2017 Winnipeg ,Manitoba
In the first half of this article, I tried to dig into the influences of Jhayzon Paredes as a musician and founder of three bands: Palitaw, FourSight and Fhamathou. At this point, I will be discussing a bit on the bands, just to make sure that they will be documented.
Forming a band is not a joke and managing it is tougher. You have to establish relationship and trust among the members for a band to survive. Jhayzon, through the years, was able to maintain friendship with musicians who he came into contact with and this in itself is already a great feat and a contribution to the cultural tapestry of the community.
As mentioned above, Palitaw (1994-2004) was one of the earliest bands that Jhayzon was a part of in the Peg in the 90s. Jhayzon explained to me that Palitaw, as the name suggests, means palutang or a float for a bait of a fishing gear. The pioneer members were Jhayzon Paredes on bass guitar, Fortune Caranay (lead guitar), Danny Lizardo (drums). These three guys started playing alternative Tagalog songs and decided to concentrate on such. As to influences, they claim they were avid students of Nirvana and Green day. Back in March 1997 when the musicians organization FAMOUS (Filipino Association of Musicians and Other Unknown Artist) was founded, Palitaw was one of the original convenors of FAMOUS.
When FAMOUS organized its first concert, Palitaw performed and got projected in the community that led to invitations to perform at birthday parties and wedding socials. Palitaw also became a front act of the 1997 visit of Mike Hanopol in Winnipeg. Eventually, the organization FAMOUS started to mellow down and together with it, the band Palitaw also faded in the background.
In 2004, Jhayson Paredes known for tirelessly organizing events formed a band called FourSight.. According to the FourSight’s web page, the group was formed back in Winter 2004 when it was terribly cold (-55) and boring. It says that out of boredom, the members of the band came together and decided to call themselves FourSight. The one who coined the name of the band was Trexier (nickname of Lord Arwin Bautista), the vocalist of the group. The members of FourSight band (2004 to 2012) were the following: Lord Arwin Bautista (vocals), Jhayson Paredes (bass guitar), Ricky Lontoc (lead guitar) and Dennis Francisco (drums). By 2005, Brian De Nieva was the lead guitarist and James De Nieva played drums. Come 2006, the original lead guitarist Ricky Lontoc came back, but there was a new drummer in the person of Rod Dizon. The latest changes in band members happened in 2007 with Jeff Reyes playing lead guitar, Jan Castillo (2 2nd lead) and Chester Pangan (Drums) latest drummer Alfredo Santos.
In the website of FourSight , it says that that the group performed as front acts for bands that
performed here in Winnipeg like Siakol, Mike Hanopol, Parokya Ni Edgar, Slapshock and many more. The band considers itself as a metal alternative band, a fusion of North American Metal, Grunge influences and Filipino Alternative music.
The third band that Jhayson Paredes helped organize was the Fhamathou back in early 2006.
Fhamathou simply means Pamato /Pambato in Tagalog or star/ace, like in a star player or band. In the 90’s, it means a vanguard band. The original members of this band were the following: Jhayzon Paredes –guitar and vocals, Rod Dizon- bass and vocals, Danny Lizardo on drums. As to influences, they adhere to the 90s Philippine Alternative Rock tradition like the E-heads, Yano, Teeth, Siakol, Parokya ni Edgar, just to name a few. These were the bands that played at Mayric’s Bar in the 90s where I used to hang out as a folk singer during the time of Burt Chaves and Sazi Cosino as managers of Mayrics. The band also covered classic rock (Eric Clapton and Credence Clearwater Revival).
According an article written by Alfie Vera Mella of Filipino Journal, Fhamathou not only covers songs but also writes their own songs like “Chatroom,” “Sinayang Mo,” “Bakit pa?” to mention a few. Most of these songs were written by Jhayzon Paredes. Jhayzon also owns a recording studio equipped with the latest instruments according to Alfie’s article, “Fhamathou: A pride of Pinoy Musikero of Winnipeg.” I had the privilege to visit Jhayzon’s place and he made me listen to some of his compositions that he also arranged. I must admit that I cannot do the things that he did. In my case, I write the lyrics, put the melody and go to a friend sound engineer to lay in my songs.
As a Winnipeg band, Fhamathou has experienced big gigs as front act for famous Philippine bands
that visited Winnipeg like The Youth concert,
Yano and The Teeth. Alfie wrote that Jhayzon Paredes produced concerts for both local and Philippine based bands and artists. Among the acts that he already brought to Winnipeg include Siakol, Slapshock, TrueFaith, Pupil, The Youth, Dong Abay (Yano) and Glenn Jacinto (Teeth). If you want further reading on the background of Fhamathou, I suggest Alfie Mella’s article in Filipino Journal.
To date, Fhamathou performed as front act for Lolita Carbon’s Pagbabalik concert in the Peg. Jhayzon played a huge role as the band leader of Fhamathou and as an organizer, he was instrumental for the success of the concert that was held at the Pampanga Restaurant on October 14, 2016 and at the Canton Buffet Restaurant on October 16th where hundreds from the Filipino community attended.
Summing up from 1994 up to the October 2016, Jhayzon Paredes played a crucial link in the band scene of the Filipino community. Twenty two years of involvement is proof enough of his commitment to the cause of rock and roll culture in the Manitoba’s Filipino diaspora. Together with the earlier artists who I mentioned in my previous articles, Jhayzon and his Metal Alternative rock and roll buddies must not be forgotten as they contributed and are part of the narrative.
(Levy Abad is a freelance writer and also a singer songwriter/recording artist and a member of Migrante Canada-Mb chapter and also a founding member/ program coordinator of Winnipeg Multicultural Human Rights Forum, Levy has released three albums , Canadian Experience Vol. 1 (iTunes ), Never Give Up and Rhythms of Compassion CanEx 3. Levy is soon to release a his fourth album by fall titled “I Love Canada”. You can reach Levy Abad through , firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.).