It has been only a month since we started with the program. and we’re enjoying it so far (i hope the listeners too). after two sessions of familiarizing ourselves with the show, we invited our first guest last week, rommel tuico of stagecrew (in foto, from

he’s currently promoting his all-bisaya solo album called ‘smells like urban max’, which i think is a play on Nirvana’s ‘smells like teen spirit’ and the name of one of Cebu’s music icons, ‘max surban.’ (include here ‘urban myx’ if

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you like.)

whether the album’s content justifies the play of words (how do you combine Nirvana’s kick ass music and surban’s cebuano humor, for example?), i really don’t care. there’s ‘max surban’ in there and that’s good enough for the bisaya in me to get excited about what rommel has to offer in this album.

the album’s title sent us off to a discussion about the importance of playing with words and phrases in songwriting. the idea here is to use common lines, names, phrases, idioms, places, do some tweaking, use a fair amount of wit and humor, and come up with something fresh.

The album’s carrier track is another attempt here. The song’s theme (sorry if i forgot the exact bisaya lyrics): “OK ra”… if you do this… what’s not OK is when…. “OK ra” if you do that… what’s not OK is when…

And the song’s title? “Okra.” the song doesn’t have to talk about vegetables. cebuano humor doesn’t have to make sense sometimes — and that in itself is funny.

I remember a song i wrote for our second album. The title is “Kung Ako Ka Pa Lang,” in english “If Only You Were Mine.” The original idea was to dedicate this song to an imaginary girl named “Palang.” So it would have been “Kung Ako Ka Palang,” in english, “If you were mine, Palang.” There’s a big difference there.

But then i decided to play it safe, thinking the wordplay would still be lost in the listening anyway. it’s only a title, for chrisakes (hey, titles are important too). but i will forever regret underestimating the cebuano wit in that particular song (in any case, listen to the song here).

Rommel’s album is available at A. Salonga Music Center, Lenovo Store – SM Branch, HP Store – SM Branch, Ngenius – SM Branch, Brewspoint Restobar, and Freddie’s Grill and Music Lounge.

(This week’s guest: brian sacro, on recording and other studio stuff)