Bamboo: Back on His Feet
These days, when the word “bamboo” is mentioned, you know what…or to be more precise, who comes to mind.
You’d be kidding if the first thing that came to mind is a real bamboo, the green plant sprouting upwards, as in kawayan. If you have thought of it that way, you’ve been living inside a cave, toppled by a rock not just for a year, but for more than a decade now.
Bamboo – the very word immediately calls up to mind that tall guy with a clean-cut hairdo, the deeply etched dimples, the soothing vocals and the suaveness to carry all of it.
Bamboo Mañalac had been the frontman of two of the most influential rock bands in Philippine history. He was in Rivermaya from its inception in 1993 until he left for the US on 1998. At 2003, he came back as the face of the rock band he shared the same name with, known for the songs “Noypi”, “Mr. Clay”, “Much Has Been Said” and “Tatsulok” (cover) among others. The band amicably called it quits on 2011.
Bamboo Soaring Solo
Now pursuing a solo career, Bamboo is most definitely back on his feet. Even as he is stripped to his essentials, manages to concoct music that connects with people; although this time, he had shifted the angsty lyrics to the more relaxed and harmonious melodies relating ordinary joys and woes of life. With the release of his debut album “No Water, No Moon”, he had again proven that his stand as one of the most brilliant musicians of our time.
Along with his decision to go solo, he also expanded his horizons. From being the mysterious frontman who rarely made media appearances, he became a welcoming figure on ABS-CBN’s premier variety show ASAP since 2012. In there, he had shared the stage with prominent Filipino artists, surprising everyone with his versatility as a performer.
This year, he upped his game by another level by being one of the coaches of the immensely popular talent show, The Voice of the Philippines, alongside top local artists Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo and Apl de Ap. As the stern coach who has an unconscious knack for picking the pretty girls, Bamboo has been capturing people’s admiration (and hearts) with his every move.
Bamboo’s “No Water, No Moon” + Live Performance
I’ve had the golden opportunity to witness his prowess as a musician firsthand last October at Eastwood during the launch of his debut album “No Water, No Moon”. To get in, I only needed to purchase the album priced at P350 at the venue which was a very small amount to pay for the many surprises in store for the evening.
Before the concert began, there was that seeping feeling of anticipation which was partly caused by my high expectations of him. Admittedly, before that gig, I was completely unfamiliar with his new material, so everything I knew about him was linked to his previous bands. Since he was not really someone you’d easily see on TV interview or programs years ago, I didn’t quite know how he really is on person. However, all my preconceived notions of him shifted for the better when he finally appeared in a plain white shirt, denim pants and blue green scarf. With a terse yet sincere introduction, he started singing. When I heard his voice, that was it – I was enthralled. His cool voice has this mesmerizing quality. It sounds sweet, but not sugary. It’s relaxing, but it has those momentarily leaps of exhilaration. It’s powerful but it’s not overwhelming. When you hear that voice live, it’s a thousand times more captivating.
The songs in “No Water, No Moon” surely sounded very different from the music he produced when he was in a band. The political/societal rage was gone, but one quality was still deeply rooted in his music even now: his soulfulness. This time around, the songs were mellow, greatly dwelling on the optimistic side of the spectrum of human emotions, but still it’s easy to recognize the beats and harmonies along with the distinctive energy that Bamboo had always exuded throughout the years.
The orchestrations/arrangements were well played out, enhancing the artistry and the emotions that the songs are meant to have. The songs, even when they were completely new to me, managed to take me away. From the discretely ponderous lyrics of “Questions” and “In This Life”, the uplifting melodies of “Spin” and “Back on My Feet” and the serenade feel of “Morning Rose”, each track had its own distinguishing factor. Hearing them live was just amazing.
Shortly after the concert was the meet and greet event wherein Bamboo treated every member of the crowd to an autograph plus a photo session and for those with the guts, a hug or a beso to seal the deal. Due to the number of people, the session lasted for more than an hour, but Bamboo patiently and warmly accommodated each of his fans along with their silly poses and their hyper behavior.
During that evening, my perception of Bamboo had changed. He was no longer that enigmatic rocker with the chilly vocals. Rather, he became that down-to-earth musician with the passion for his craft and his fans. Lately, he has become very popular due to his cool coaching stint in The Voice. People of all ages are beginning to be fond of him which is a great thing. Bamboo deserves all of it. He has this immense talent as a musician and the dedication to keep his music alive.
See more of him in his one-night concert “BY Request” alongside Yeng Constantino at the Big Dome on August 17. You wouldn’t want to miss it.
We are giving away a re-packaged No Water, No Moon Album by Bamboo with the new single “Carousel”
One (1) No Water, No Moon Re-packaged Album by Bamboo (1 winner)
Promo Period: July 30 to August 11, 2013, 12midnight
Announcement of Winner: August 12, 2013
How to Join:
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Terms and Conditions:
1. This promo is for Philippine residents only.
2. Only entries that fulfill the above-mentioned requirements will be included as valid entries.
3. Winners must present 1 valid IDs with photo upon claiming of prizes at the Concert Venue
4. Winners who do not claim their prizes will not be allowed to join future promos by Philippine Concerts.
In cooperation with Contests and Promos