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Archive for September, 2008

Toyang from outside the wall

Monday, September 1st, 2008

I was cleaning the toilet bowls of the San Carlos Seminary College in Mabolo, Cebu City in 1993 when I heard a song by the Eraserheads for the first time. The music came from a house just outside the seminary’s west wall, from a room where the owner’s daughter would sometimes treat us seminarians to long-distance striptease at night.

I froze, a bottle of muriatic acid in one hand and a toilet bowl swab in the other. Who was this guy warbling about his house being small yet clean, pati sa kusina? And what was my favorite childhood rhyme “pen pen de sarapin de kutsilyo de almasin” doing in the song? What decent songwriter would use Skyflakes and Coke 500 in his lyrics? And what guts to base his song on Nat King Cole’s “Too Young.”

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