Portrait of a Filipino Jazz Musician

  I first heard Ryan play the keyboard at Tago Jazz Café in Metro Manila, where he performed with his trio and with other groups, then later at the Ayala Museum. His work made me an instant fan, I think in part because of our love of Keith Jarrett, who speaks of improvising one note at a time. Ryan and I share a common view of inspiration, or, as my favorite music critic, Alan Rich, wrote decades ago in New York magazine, “I am neither a church-goer nor an atheist, and the reason I am not the latter can be …

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A Memoirist of the Marcos Years, Part 3

Susan Quimpo’s book “Subversive Lives” discusses the activities of her activist family during the Marcos martial law period. After the international edition came out, she made a book tour in the US, speaking with audiences of mostly Filipino-Americans about the Marcos period as well as the current situation with Duterte and the extra-judicial killings. This is an account of that discussion.

A Monk from the Matayog Health and Wellness Center

A few months ago I posted an interview with Richie Quirino, author of The Amen Vibration, the story of his spiritual journey (link)  Recently he introduced me to Dada, a childhood friend who had lived in India, Africa and South America and was now back in the Philippines as the head monk at the Matayog Health and Wellness Center in Parañaque. (link). Dada and I talked at the coffee shop in the Hotel Kimberly across the street from my subdivision in Tagaytay. Thanks to Dada for the photos I pulled from the center’s Facebook page. Dada’s story  I understand you’re …

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A Remarkable Journey with Light and Sound

I first interviewed Richie Quirino about his books and video on Filipino jazz in “A Jazz Musician and Jazz Journalist.” (Link). Recently we spoke in the Hotel Kimberly  coffee shop in Tagaytay about his latest book. The Amen Vibration, Volume II, was published under his spiritual name, Echad. The Kindle version is now available free online. (Link) The book follows an unpublished manuscript of decades earlier. It presents a chorus of voices on the positive and negative effects of light and sound on humanity—science and religion with variations. Richie’s story In the first chapter of the book, God says, “Let …

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A Memoirist of the Marcos Years, Part 2

In Part 1 of this interview, Susan Quimpo talks about her family’s activism during martial law and the initial impetus for the memoir. In Part 2 she continues with a description of writing the book and her own life afterwards. Susan’s story At first I wrote two chapters. Then I went for two master’s degrees, one in Asian Studies and the other in journalism. For my journalism class I wrote about the family and martial law.  I thought if I could make my narrative comprehensible to Americans, who knew little about the Philippines under martial law except the name Marcos, …

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