MW / You sound familiar

12:20:00 AM

Back in college, I briefly managed a funk-soul group called Familiar. It's a five-man band composed of Monde (vocals), Marvie (guitars), Mathew (bass), Gershwin (keyboards), and Dan (drummer). They all attended high school in Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong, but Dan's a year ahead of the rest of the group.

L-R: Dan, Monde, Father Abel (their mentor), Marvie, Matt, and Gersh
For ANImo, an event I co-organized for my college org Alay Ni Ignacio, I invited his band to be among the front acts for the headliners Up Dharma Down and Urbandub. Although they were just starting, they held their own and the crowd did appreciate their music a lot.

After that event, Monde asked me to manage the band full-time. I had absolutely no idea how to do that, but I figured there was no harm in trying. Besides, I really liked the kind of music they played, so I accepted the challenge and signed on.

I played mother hen to the brood at first, but in time, they became my friends. Gershwin and I bonded over our writing; I was his go-to editor. Mathew and I discussed photography and art. Monde is actually my brother-in-law. Dan and I talked relationships. And Marvie, well, he became my boyfriend for five years.

We were a group for about a year. and throughout that time, I booked them a few gigs, one of which is a live broadcast gig for the now-defunct morning show on Studio 23, Breakfast Supersize.

For a brief period, we even had a saxophonist, Jerry, who was the only person who responded to the ad I posted on the wall of the men's toilet in Abelardo Hall (UP College of Music) in Diliman. Having him around added more flavor to the music, and we were all depressed on the day he went back home to Dumaguete.

The band's long gone now; everybody went their separate ways. But that year with them has left an idelible mark that has changed me in more ways than one. They were my boys, and I'll always remember them as that.


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