Through the Roof: The Standouts of Summer

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Photography by Patrick Diokno
Produced by Paolo Lorenzana and assisted by Ina Jacobe

Imagine a year without summer. Without the sun’s requisite slap in the face to remind you that you can take a break from routine and all the resolutions you set out to accomplish. Breaks are scheduled this time of the year for a reason and B/BLOG gathered a group of young people who most certainly deserve it.

There’s Paolo Bustamante, who’s getting us to see old Manila with fresh eyes through his blog “The Filipinas.” Electronic artist BP Valenzuela and Yolanda Moon, a duo composed of singer Cholo Hermosa and guitarist Kyle Quismundo, are responsible for a smarter sound coming from the college music circuit. Allowing us many nights of beat-spurred abandon is DJ Khai Lim, while Rammy Bitong from hip-hop dance group Legit Status has inspired us to get fluent with our body language. Of course, if anyone’s encouraged people to march to their own beat, it’s Alex Castro, who established Proud to be LGBT, an organization that defends gender rights in UP Diliman. Oh, and she also happens to be a gold medal-winning power lifter.

These folks here looked like they needed a break, so B/BLOG allowed them a quick escape from their dynamic, overachieving lives through a rooftop party to welcome summer. Up there’s a good vantage point to assess one’s success and survey the possibilities. Not to mention kick back with a drink and enjoy the sunset—those tend to be nice during summer, too.

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On DJ Khai Lim: Swimsuit and shorts by HerBench

MEET Khai Lim

25, DJ & Electronic Artist

What have you been up to? 

“I recently signed with Tonedef Recordings and am looking forward to releasing a feature track with producer Alphyro on Beatport and Traxsource.  Will also be recording my single for release in the next few months.  You can catch me weekends at Skye Lounge and HyVe Boutique Nightclub or at my monthly gig at URBN, the Fort.”

The most awesome event you spun at so far? 

“One event that made a definite mark was Rexona Run to Your Beat 2013, where 12,500 runners zoned in on the goal amidst an auditory experience. The entire course was filled with talented musicians and DJs and a spectacular culmination at the finish line.”

Who should we keep our ears open to this summer?

“Martin Garrix, this 17 year-old DJ-producer who came into the scene with his non-lyrical progressive electro. We’ll definitely be hearing his body-flailing hits this summer.”

What tracks would you add to the ultimate summer playlist?

“Some euphoric sunset session tracks to get you in that perfect laidback mood: the Artec Remix of ‘Wait it Out’ by Imogen Heap, ‘Real Life’ – TST & Mogwai feat Amba Shepard, and ‘Summer’ by Calvin Harris.”

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On Rammy: Tank, pants, & sneakers by BENCH I Necklace by Aldo Accessories

MEET Rammy Bitong

20, Member of Legit Status, a Hip-Hop Dance Crew

What have you been up to lately?  

“With Legit Status, a really big competition is coming up—HHI Nationals. Fortunately we were able to make it through the regionals so we’re competing again this May for a chance to represent the country again. Other than dancing and schoolwork, I’m working on a new TV show as a host on a new channel. As soon as we get the green light, we’re going to start shooting the pilot episodes.”

Summer plans you’re excited for?

“My family and I are heading to Singapore for Holy Week. I’m excited to go back to the theme parks and pig out. Because of our training schedule, I’ll make the most out of the events happening in the city such as some upcoming music festivals and dance events.”

Any song you’ll be playing throughout the summer?

“I Love College” by Asher Roth

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On Rammy: Tank, pants, & sneakers by BENCH I Necklace by Aldo Accessories

MEET BP Valenzuela

18, Artist Under Logiclub, an Electronic Collective

What have you been up to lately?   

“I just released an EP two weeks ago at Route 196. A lot of the content is derivative from real life experience mixed with influences from film and literature. For example, ‘Building’ and ‘All That You Are’ inspired by e.e. cummings’ ‘my love is building a building’ and ‘love is the every only god’ respectively. The opening track ‘Geomorph’ is heavily framed by dialogue from Cameron Crowe movies (Almost Famous and Say Anything) and traveling, adolescence, the works.”

What would be the definitive BP Valenzuela song?

“Probably ‘General Scheme of Things.’ A lot of my music is supposedly quiet and intimate, and it’s a good taste test for the rest of the EP. It’s steady and melancholic, and I suppose heavily rooted in emotion like the rest.”

Where would you like to take your music?

“I’m trying to inch out of my comfort zone, less into the ambient side and more into the upbeat side of electro-pop, as seen in the last track of the EP, Second Nature which is heavily influenced by ‘80s pop percussion and the Haim, Roxette, The Bangles, Heart, and Suzanne Vega brand of pop.”

Any music you’ll be playing throughout the summer?

“I’ve been so obsessed with Haim’s ‘Days are Gone’ and lately I’ve been listening to MØ’s ‘No Mythologies to Follow’ on loop. For local music, my buddies CRWN, JohnPope, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines!”

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(L-R) On Paolo: Shirt & sunglasses by BENCH. On BP: Tank & pants by HerBench  I  Sandals by ALDO.

MEET Paolo Bustamante

21, Blogger, “The Filipinas”

What’s a must-visit place in your Manila?

“Escolta. Everything is there, from culture to food. The stretch of Calle Escolta has a lot of preserved buildings and they use the adaptive reuse system. In other words, they don’t demolish old buildings, they reuse them, change the interiors, and strengthen its original façade.”

What else have you been up to besides the blog?

“I am an active member of the Heritage Conservation Society Youth. Basically, what we do is that we make plans to raise awareness on conserving our heritage sites through the use of the adaptive reuse system. We conduct tours, organize and give lectures, and other such things. I am also currently working on a feature on “The Faces of Manila,” wherein I will feature 10 people who are making a huge difference to uplift the state of Manila.”

Any summer plans you’re excited for?

“I am planning to go outside of Manila and explore other places such as Bataan, Iloilo, and Sagada. The Philippines has a lot to offer and I want to show it and make it accessible to everyone. I started with Manila because this is the place where I grew up in and I can see that there are places in Manila that need a lot of exposure, and that is where I come in.”

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(L-R) On BP: Tank by HerBench. On Khai: Swimsuit & shorts by HerBench. On Rammy: Tank & pants by BENCH I Necklace by Aldo Accessories.

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On Alex: Top & skirt by Kashieca I Sunglasses by Aldo Accessories.

Alex Castro

21, Law student, Powerlifter & Founder of U.P. Diliman’s Proud to be LGBT

What have you been up to lately?

“I actually just ended my term as UP Diliman’s student council chairperson. I’m about to end my first year in law school. Next month, I’m preparing the organizations I established for the next school year. I’m also going back to doing powerlifting, basketball, and Ultimate Frisbee. I play for Sunken Pleasure, a national team that’s won 18 national championships and two international championships for Ultimate Frisbee. Nationals is in May so we’re starting to train for that.”

What led to establishing Proud to be LGBT?

“That was around 2011. There was an issue in UP Diliman about gender discrimination because there was a trans-woman who enrolled in a French class. In French, everything has a gender. What came out in her records and her ID was that she was a male. Her professor refused to acknowledge her as a woman. I decided to do something about it and put up an organization so we could fight discrimination inside the university and outside the university. Since its establishment, the organization has grown so much.”

Summer plans you’re excited for?

“Much-needed rest and partying, please.”

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(L-R) On Kyle: T-shirt & shorts by BENCH. On Cholo: Polo & jeans by BENCH.

MEET Yolanda Moon

Kyle Quismundo, 22, Guitarist; Cholo Hermosa, 25, Lead Singer & Part-Time DJ

 What have you guys been up to lately?

Kyle: “We just finished recording our first single—the first of many singles before the album. We were able to get help from Ms. Armi Millare and Hit Prod Studios. We recently did a score for a thesis film from UP Diliman, watch out for more of those in the future.”

Any summer plans you’re excited for?

Cholo: “We’re getting ready for the Summer Siren Festival held from April 4 to 6 in Zambales. Manila gigs, you can always catch Terno Inferno every month.”

Kyle:Game of Thrones Season 4 is premiering right after we get back from Zambales. I hear Watch Dogs comes out on consoles this summer, too.”

What would be the definitive Yolanda Moon song?

“‘Path.’ When the song was made, that’s when we realized we found Yolanda Moon’s sound.”

Any music you’ll be playing throughout the summer?

Cholo:  “Tennis’s 2013 EP, Pharrell’s G I R L, Tony Bennet The Classics.”

Kyle:Melody’s Echo Chamber – Self-titled, Gesaffelstein – Aleph, Hiatus Kaiyote – Tawk Tomahawk.”

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