1995. The year that I got my first snare drum. It was bought by my late father. I can still remember the night when he came home. Excitement is not enough to describe what I felt while waiting for him. I was happy he finally agreed on letting me join the drum & lyre band of my school.
I can say that it was thanks to my Dad that I was able to learn how to play a drum. People who know me would say I would dance or move like I’m dancing anywhere I am, be it in an elevator or hallway, but even before I got into that habit, I had the drumming habit first. I would play drum beats on any surface with the use of my hands or spoon and fork, pen, pencil or just about anything that I can hold. Thanks to my Dad I finally was able to play on a real drum.
I hope someday I can get to play the drums again even at home.
There are a couple of things that I love to do, but there are four that would really stand out.
I have started loving beats, drum beats to be specific, when we transferred in Digos City. From time to time I would create my own beats on any surface that I can get hold of while also tapping my feet at the same time. I really feel good doing it even when there’s no music. That unexplainable, overwhelming joy is really awesome. Someday, I will really take some formal lessons playing the drum set.
The first and undoubtedly my widely used talent that no one would disagree. I think my love for drumming stemmed out from this passion. After all, they’re interrelated. There’s still some things I can improve in my dancing skills but how I wish I have a place/room big enough to dance so I can practice what’s on my mind. I’m not really much of a choreographer but who knows how much I can improve myself if I have a small studio where I can practice.
I realized this when I was in high school. During that time, I was fond of attending mass everyday before going to school and when I listen to the priest’s homily, I would be mesmerized and create my own reflection afterwards. I would also share my own insights in the prayer meetings of our prayer group. Often times I would find myself discovering things that I never knew before which I would gladly share in the group.
I also discovered this passion in high school. I can still remember the first time I served as a reader. It was really nerve-wracking. I can see my school ID moving because of my heart’s loud beat because of nervousness. Little did I know it was the start of 4 years of serving as a reader in our school’s liturgical club. I would read the scriptures with all feelings and I would make eye contact to the people attending the mass. Because of that, I received one of the most wonderful praises in my entire life from a priest, “ang galing mo naman magbasa.” It happened during a Wednesday novena mass on which I read the 1st reading and responsorial psalm, which is quite rare since we’re normally tasked to do only one reading.
Except for dancing, I haven’t done any of these since time immemorial, but in the future I would love to do them all again at least once.
Back in elementary and high school, my mother and I would always fight over what television show to watch from 5pm onwards on weekdays. I’d prefer GMA 7 because of the anime episodes being aired, while Mama would prefer the news and soap operas. And that’s why I was really surprised one Saturday afternoon.
I was in grade 6 at that time and I was in our school’s gym doing our band practice with the rest of the drum & lyre band members. I suddenly saw Mama waiting in one of the entrance gates of the gym. I went to her and noticed the small plastic bag she’s holding. It turns out that the bag contains VHS tapes and one of them is a Dragonball Z movie (the one with Coola as the villain), which wasn’t even released in theaters at that time. She cheerfully told me the story of how she found the tape from Emcor and how she was so delighted to find it.
As simple as it is, it truly touched my heart.
I have a similar story of simple act of love about my wife and our son. But I’ll reserve that in my next post.
During my elementary years in Don Mariano Marcos Elementary School, I was part of our school’s drum and bugle (lyre) band from half of grade 4 to grade 6. I first played the snare drum in grade 4. I quit the band during the second half of the school year. When I returned to the band in grade 5, I started playing the bass drum even though my height doesn’t pass the qualifications for a bass drummer: tall, big and strong. In fact, the bass drum is bigger than me, but since I’m good with rhythm and beats I was given an exception by our coach (and I think there’s none other than me and two others who is brave enough to carry the bass drum). I think our coach liked me because of my dedication to the band and I’m not one of those drummers who gets into his nerves.
I remember a time during a Sinulog contest where we played for like 8 hours or so with only as much as 15 minutes of break. My right hand’s fingers are covered with blisters already. That’s the toughest part with being a bass drummer because we have no subs and we can’t lower our beat of the drum because the band might lose the rhythm. Though there are three of us, the two others, one of them being my best friend, are already having a hard time so I decided to keep up the volume of my beat. In the end, the blister hurt so much that I can’t even hold a spoon during dinner that night.
Lesson learned that day: wear gloves when playing for long hours.