Category Archives: Write Up

Wallowing — Soil & Green prepares to ‘let go’ with debut LP


NO, THE BAND’S NOT BREAKING UP. Although sometimes in our lives, there comes a moment where we just find ourselves in the dark. And we might not even try to get out of there because it’s such a drag to deal with things. But we got to let go of all the things that are swelling up inside. We must keep moving forward, even if it means crawling out or pulling ourselves out of our dark days.

We knew Soil & Green from way back in 2014 as we were gearing up for the first-ever Intramuros Rising. The band hails from the Mapua Institute of Technology—now Mapua University—and to best describe their sound per our boys is “a mix of heavy riff-oriented guitar licks, ambient guitar layering, ear-gasmic basslines, odd ‘singing’ drum patterns, and powerful vocals.” Surely enough, if you’ve managed to catch them in any of their gigs in the past, their description rings loud and true. In addition, they say dynamic arrangement is key to their individuality and chemistry; with those elements altogether forged their identity as a band. Nonetheless, over time, the sun rises and sets.

From left to right, Soil & Green during Intramuros Rising 1 last August 2, 2014: Marvin Montero (bass), Jacob Oliva (guitars & vocals), and Lehmann Flores (guitars)

From left to right, Soil & Green during Intramuros Rising 1 last August 2, 2014: Marvin Montero (bass), Jacob Oliva (guitars & vocals), and Lehmann Flores (guitars)


To give an idea as to what the album’s all about, we’ve managed to catch up with Soil & Green frontman Jacob Oliva and guitarist Lehmann Flores.

Could you tell us something about the whole album? What can we expect?

Jacob: ‘Wallowing’ defines Soil & Green as it is right now. All the songs from the previous release back in 2010 are included in this album, which says a lot about the genre of its track list. Why ‘Wallowing?’ As the definition of that word suggests, the theme of the whole album—from lyrics to music and arrangement—points to this: sadness without solution. If the album is the biography of a person, that person seems to enjoy the sadness he’s in, thus, wallowing in depression.

Lehmann: Almost 2 years in the making, tapos mostly experiences ni Jacob sa pag-ibig in general, pero nilaro yung words to make it [seem] na ibang bagay yung tinutukoy.

wallowing _album

The band is set to release their debut album on JUNE 10 at the saGuijo Bar + Café in Makati City, together with Talata, Saydie, Maryzark, False Apart, Kodigo, and their Indio Cartel brodies, Wasted Wendy. 200PHP gets you in with 1 FREE drink; 450PHP gets you in with all the goodies. (1 copy of ‘Wallowing’ + stickers + 1 FREE drink)


DON’T LOOK BACK: Lola Amour to release debut EP at Mow’s

Up-and-coming independent OPM band LOLA AMOUR will be launching their debut EP, Don’t Look Back, this May 17, 2017 (Wednesday) at Mow’s, Matalino St., Quezon City.

The band’s music resonates with soul and funk elements, infused with some blues, rock, and a pinch of pop music. The band released a music video for their debut single, No Tomorrow, last September 2016. Subsequently, they released lyric videos for Maybe, Maybe and Fools last January and March 2017, respectively. Check out their music on their YouTube channel and SoundCloud account.

Lola Amour was founded, on the record, in January 2016. The band consists of Pio Dumayas on lead vocals, Martin Kim on back vocals and keys, Raymond King on back vocals and bass, Zoe Gonzales on guitar, Angelo Mesina and Joxx Perez on brass, and Renzo Santos on drums. Joining them on their EP launch are Tom’s Story, Over October, Ang Bagong Luto ni Enriquez, and Sofa Sky.

Gates open at 7PM. Entrance is free of charge. It’s Humpday Wednesday. You know where to go. 😉


#ICYMI: Banna Harbera released MV for ‘Sorrys & Goodbyes’


It was an intimate night at saGuijo last April 29 when independent soul/funk band Banna Harbera released their first ever music video for Sorrys & Goodbyes, the second track off their sophomore EP, Persistence. By “intimate,” we mean the venue was already nearly packed and standing room as early as frickin’ 8pm! That was some following, man. It was tight. It was a good thing we managed to stand outside by saGuijo’s glass window so we could get to watch the performances.

If you missed the experience last Saturday, here’s a rundown of what occurred:

The show got on the road at around 9pm with Tom’s Story as the opening act, and you can never go wrong with these guys whether you have them opening shows or you line them up somewhere in the middle because they never fail to deliver. And what’s arguably the best way you’d know it’s Tom’s Story is when you hear them play their signature track, Anchors, along with another favorite such as Mugatu.

Tom’s Story is followed by Mayonnaise, playing hit anthems like Jopay and Tayo Na Lang Dalawa that surely brought people down to high school memory lane.

What’s more, in keeping the momentum steady for people to be able to breathe after two exhilarating acts came Rob & The Hitmen, a 4-piece pop band that injects R&B and funk rudiments in their music that gave people that chill funky vibe. And to amplify that chill, funky vibe with a dash of bluesy-LoveSupreme-intimacy is where MilesExperience came into play, raising the momentum up once more which paved the way for the climactic performance of Jensen & The Flips right after.






Then came the soulful heroes of the hour, Banna Harbera. Though before they started off with their set, they gave us the chance to watch music video for ‘Sorrys & Goodbyes’ first. It was every bit as emotional as its titular track. Keep in mind that the song is like a letter to someone who had been left behind; alternatively, someone who’s left another one behind.

So, in the music video, we saw a character—broken and alone—grieving the fallout of a relationship that did not seem to work out. Imagine all the things you could’ve said, would’ve said, or should’ve said, but you didn’t get the chance to do so. And you try to mend your pieces back together albeit self-destructive tendencies linger.

Elements like crumpled pieces of paper on the bed signified old love letters; an attempt of smoking about half a pack of cigarettes tells of self-destruction as a mean to an end; most notably among others is the scene where our character is soaked with water, drenched in her pain. They all fit in quite perfectly that they add such artistic depth to the music video which left us in breathtaking awe.


[We’ll be] Going back to Madison!

Indie-pop garage rock band CAROUSEL CASUALTIES will be launching their debut EP Madison this May 19, 2017 (Friday) at Saguijo, Makati.

TRIVIA: Their first gig was under ILVSTRADOS back when we held the reins at Sev’s Cafe, staging Students Night Out.

The band’s sound is reminiscent of British pop and garage rock music infused with post-rock, math rock, blues rock, soul and funk influences. The band released two singles namely “Safety” and “Flats,” both landing top spots on Jam 88.3’s Fresh Filter in 2016 and 2017. The former was voted #29 on the radio station’s 2016 Yearend Countdown and was featured in Japanese music blog Niche Music. The EP was produced by Nick Lazaro of Moonwlk (whose production credits include Oh, Flamingo!, Cheats, among many others) at La Balls Studio and features 6 original tracks.


Carousel Casualties was formally founded on August of 2016. The band is comprised of Emmie Villegas and Pau Villanueva on both vocals and guitar, Jot Nicanor on bass and Xavier Lucente on drums. The band has consistently performed in several prominent venues such as SaGuijo Cafe, Route 196 Bar, 19 East, Mow’s and Aloha Bar. Carousel Casualties was also recently invited by DLSU Taft’s Green Giant FM for an afternoon of radio guesting and performance. They also performed at St. Scholastica’s Annual school fair last March.

The EP Launch will feature guest performers Banna Harbera, Moonwlk, Paranoid City, Rob & Hitmen, and She’s Only Sixteen. Gates open 8PM. Entrance is P200 (inclusive of one free drink). Show starts 9PM.

Banna Harbera gears up to release MV for ‘Sorrys & Goodbyes’

When it’s time to go, there’s no way of sugarcoating it, really, unless you’re about to tell your significant other a lie; thinking that it would ease the pain, but let’s be honest here—it won’t. Some people cut to the chase and leave without another word after. Some people take some time to say sorry, and goodbye.


After various performances around the Metro, a stint in Intramuros Rising 3 back in July 2015, and having released 2 EPs, as well as landing a spot in Wanderland 2017 as one of the Top 5 finalists, local soul/funk band Banna Harbera are increasingly one of the sought after independent acts today. The band is comprised of Yzabel Torres on vocals, Jake Masigan on guitar, Josh Planas on bass, Theo Blanch on keys, and Patrick Felipe on drums. They all came from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, and interestingly, all five of them have a Bachelor’s degree in Music Production which explains their distinct groove and masterful command of sound. Although the band’s music comes off as laid-back and chill, there are moments when their songs will have you up your feet and get you to dance.

After all, the band does play their music in a way that their listeners can dance, relate, and connect to.

MV Teaser


“It’s hard to say that I’m leaving you. The one thing on my mind is that you felt the same way, too.”

Now, in under a few days’ time, Banna Harbera are gearing up to release their first-ever music video for their ballad, Sorrys & Goodbyes, the second track off their second EP, Persistence. The song is essentially “a song that was kinda built around things unsaid to a certain someone, turning out to be too late to tell them,” per Banna Harbera guitarist, Jake Masigan. Asked if there were any experiences from anyone in the band that inspired the song, Masigan added that, “I wrote the song out of the blue—putting myself in the shoes of a person who’s just gotten their heart broken, or has just broken someone’s heart.” And it makes sense, because one could imagine the frustration of being left behind with all these things one could have said, would have said, and should have said.

Will we see this portrayed in the #SorrysMV? We’ll soon find out. Click here for the full event details.

MV Premiere Poster

Linang at Yakis: Alternatibong Kasanayan Para sa Sining at Multimedia

Students from the Mapúa Institute of Technology’s School of Multimedia and Visual Arts (SMVA) seeks to sharpen and cultivate the Filipino creative’s skills in a seminar aptly titled Linang and Yakis: Alternatibong Kasanayan Para sa Sining at Multimedia which will be held on March 15, 2017 at the Mapúa Institute of Technology, Intramuros Campus. This seminar’s goal is to prepare the mulimedia practitioners for the future world ahead of them.

The speakers who will grace this seminar with their presence are from different sectors of the multimedia industry, are masters of their respective craft, and are eager to impart their knowledge unto those who will attend.


The roster includes AJ Siytangco, former 3D and Visual Effects Artist at Lucasfilm, who will be talking about techniques and knowledge regarding VFX; Noel Llorca on Z-Brush sculpting; Benigno Buenaventura on the creative processes in conceptualizing effective design, John Marin on balancing one’s creative lifestyle and the client’s demand; Award-winning Sound Director Andrew Milallos on the importance of sound in digital film production; and last but definitely not the least, GMA-7’s Howie Severino on making documentaries for Philippine television.

The speakers will also hold question and answer sessions wherein the atendees may feed their curiousity and ask the men themselves about their respective fields and the multimedia industry at-large.

The registration fee is only PHP 50. For further inquiries, visit the event’s official Facebook page: Linang At Yakis, follow them on their Twitter @LinangAtYakis, or email them at

By: Lance Pacada

Apophenia: A Multimedia Portfolio Exhibit

The Multimedia Arts Class of A406C will be holding an exhibit entitled “Apophenia” on March 17 – 19 2017 at Design Center of the Philippines, CCP Building, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila 1009.

Exhibits like these are being held annually by graduating students as part of their fulfillment for the course, Multimedia Arts Design Production and Portfolio Exhibit which showcases each student’s talents, skills and expertise they all have gained through the 4 years learning the course. This time, the class of A406C exposes their esoteric side as they let you see and experience what it is like inside their creative mind  on how they view the things around us differently and lets you ask the question: “what do you see?”

In lieu with the theme and description; “Apophenia”, the class lets out their wild creativity, while applying their deep thoughts, memories and their illusionary perceptions through their artwork. This brings out one’s intuitiveness as we see and experience a new, different vision and message from even the simple designs, images and artwork. Apophenia spontaneously perceives one’s tendency to seek patterns or thoughts from various unrelated, random phenomena, images, and misperception of information. then connects them into forming a message or an illusion in which something clear and distinct exists from nothing. – Whether it may be a dream or a reality.


Apophenia –  An A406C Portfolio Exhibit of Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila is in partnership with Design Center of the Philippines and we would like to thank the following Official Sponsors; D&D Custom Guitars and Pulp Magazine., as well the Official Media Partners ClickTheCity, WhenInManila, Support Local Indie Scene and ILVSTRADOS; Special thanks to Beanleaf.

To know more about the details on the upcoming event, please visit our Official Facebook Page

The Exhibit will be open to the public on March 18 and 19 at 1:00pm-9:00pm.

2016: An ordeal we all *had* to face, and now we say goodbye to.

[Author’s disclaimer: I tried my best to keep this article as well-balanced as possible, but as far as 2016 is concerned, you probably know very well how much of a shit show this year has been.]

Time is as relentless as a storm which brings about a grueling test of our character; it sees how we struggle to stick to our guns, keep our identities, and stay on the right track of whatever purpose we hold ourselves up to. And yet, it’s also as elusive as a memory of who we once were if we’re not careful who we change into. This year—the jumping-onto-a-moving-train of a year that is 2016—proved itself to be the squall we faced head on despite the risks most people would be wary of.

Nevertheless, we knew we would take our chances with the risks anyway for the sake of being persistent with our massive efforts to bring up our homegrown artists, and revitalize Intramuros through a culture that celebrates local independent music and the arts—Intramuros Rising (or simply, I.R.). And for the past 2 years since our inception, we have been humbled by the warmth that the IR community have constantly given us in every successful event we’ve put up. We simply can’t thank them all enough for the love and energy they share with us.


Treading down memory lane for this year-end report, the biggest IR we had for this year was Intramuros Rising 4: The Homecoming March, a 2-day music festival we pulled off back in March 18 and 19 at the Puerta Real Gardens with acts mostly from the first two seasons of IR mixed with a couple of new ones from beyond the walls. With a total of 24 acts of diverse genres that really had people dancing and moshing and swaying to the suave groove of each of the bands’ music, and 4 spoken word poetry groups that truly pulled heartstrings and gave all of us the legitimate feels of pride, rage, longing, and the sucking feeling of unrequited love among other things for two straight fuckin’ days—we didn’t know how we could have pulled it off without screwing up and making a huge mess. (Not to mention our expenses that made it all happen.)


Of course, there were minor gaffes during the event, like having some of the artists too drunk to perform their pieces properly, and having the schedules adjusted because some of the artists came in late due to unforeseen circumstances and all, but nothing that couldn’t have been remedied.

In the end, most of the people had a blast, some got too drunk and dozed off on the grass by the end of the show, and that ultimately, Intramuros Rising 4 was one hell of a homegrown music festival. During egress, as we all sat down in Puerta Real, it felt like we were in a sort of a trance that we kept asking each other, “Tangina, nagawa natin ‘to ng 2 days?” It was as if it was all brought down and laid out naturally—and even hours in the afternoon before we got the show on the road, somehow, we weren’t all that stressed out. It was surreal.


A month later in April, the Department of Trade and Industry – Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI – CITEM) organized the first-ever Creative Environment Intramuros as part of Design Week Philippines. Essentially, it was “a celebration of the rich cultural and creative scene that lived within the walls of Intramuros.” As we are in partnership with the Intramuros Administration, we were tapped for a presentation in solidarity with the celebration. Thus, Ex Vivo: From Beginning to End came into play.


The core idea behind Ex Vivo was to present the five phases of life—starting from birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and finally, death—which were told by select poets from White Wall Poetry and Lakambini. And to make things more interesting, we had the poets team up with the musical performances of our homegrown acts such as Shutter LIFE, Caffeine and Taurine, Mellow Submarine, SAVING THE DYING HOPE, and Endless Noise. And along the lines of those phases in life, we have seen people come and go.

For the next month and a half, we finally huddled up as we conceptualized what and how the fifth installment of Intramuros Rising will be. Keeping in mind the fact that we are a group laid bare and stripped to the core, within ourselves, it’s like trying to rise up from the ashes after being burned and torn down to the ground. We’ve lost people we thought we knew so well. So, we thought of the idea of an “open city” as our theme. Because historically, during those dark times when we were in a state of war, Manila was declared as an open city—a city unarmed and defenseless with no intentions to be hostile.

With the five of us remaining as the core group coming together, came the thought of adapting the concept of the super robot from the 70s we all knew and loved, Voltes V. (As well as using the “V” as the numerical symbol for five because we’re vintage like that.) As for the preparations, everything fell right into place afterwards much like the super robot’s volt-in sequence.


However, due to the tremendously unfortunate event of five people dying at a summer rave party in Pasay caused by some multiple mixes of party drugs, alcohol, and possibly, dehydration a few months prior to Intramuros Rising V (IR – V), and the brewing storm as the event day came closer, we were forced to cancel IR – V which felt like we were being sucked in a black hole while wondering what we missed and where we could have gone wrong. It’s as if the universe decided to be a total cunt in those series of events.

Silver lining, we found vindication with our subsequent partnership with the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (or simply, OPM) since they reached out to us for help with the celebration of Linggo ng Musikang Pilipino (LMP) in the last week of July… which actually happened in the second week of September. It was a prolonged and arduous two months with a series of shows in several parts of the Metro.



(During which we even managed to send one of our resident poets, Slac Cayamanda of White Wall Poetry, to Singapore for a string of spoken word performances. #PHrepresent!)


The moral of the story: if you’re a legit organization with sufficient resources AND have plans of staging a massive indie music festival, priority number 1.) always be sure that you have your venue secured; 2.) be damn sure you can brave storms, and most importantly; 3.) have faith in your founded community.

Several weeks after, we took a short break, only to learn later on that the Teatrino management in Greenhills-Promenade loved our previous stint at their venue during one of the shows for LMP, and that they offered a partnership with us for another show. So, Beyond The Walls happened—a two-part presentation that allowed us to raise funds for the making of Ian Penn’s full-length album AND debut his performance with a full band, and really brave the uncharted before we finally head back home to Intramuros.


A couple of months passed after that, and for us, it was like trying to reassess everything that transpired and get a hold of our individual bearings; it also felt like a really long time without a gig organized to go to. Jeremy bid his time working on new material with his band and leisurely reading books, while Ankrizel and I managed to land our first jobs half a year after our graduation; as if we went and dealt with things that are involved with normalcy.

So, to cap this off and tie it with a red ribbon, this year ultimately put us all in quite an ordeal. It was the best and the worst time of our lives in this scene and we’re still here, feet planted firmly into the ground. We’ve had our time to lick our wounds, and frankly, we’re ready to rise up again in 2017. All we hope for is to see you guys be there with us.


–Roy Salamat

¿Que pasa, Indio?

For the year 2017, we aim to expand our agenda.

Intramuros Rising has been the phase one of ILVSTRADOS’ campaign to Intramuros for an alternate offering of what to see, hear, and experience in the heart of Manila. Undoubtedly, the first music and arts festival in the Walled City has opened a lot of gates to the grass roots community of Intramuros. Phase one shouldn’t stop us in our struggle for a better recognition and acknowledgment to our artists. Yes, Intramuros is now the sought after music and arts venue; you finally got the chance to know our city more, now here is a chance for you to get to know our homegrown artists better.

The second phase of the ILVSTRADOS initiative is INDIO CARTEL. We’ve provided a home for you (Intramuros Rising); allow us to extend our services by helping you build or strengthen your promising foundation. To simply put it: INDIO CARTEL will serve as Intramuros Rising alum’s management and publicist group. (They may or may not need it; we want to do something MORE—a life after Intramuros Rising.)

INDIO CARTEL will be ILVSTRADOS’ outside Intramuros arm in the music scene. It will be a separate entity from the latter in order for the former to freely operate beyond the walls and to avoid confusion of which is which. On January 5, 2016, we will be launching the clique, together with the pioneer signings, SOIL & GREEN, WASTED WENDY, ENDLESS NOISE, SAVING THE DYING HOPE, SHUTTER LIFE, and YOUNG BEAR (Brandon Garcia of Caffeine Taurine).


This shall mark a new journey for ILVSTRADOS; a beginning of an interesting year. We’ve done our part for the city, this time we’ll do something MORE for the artists.

This should be amazing.

Mapua SMVA takes a stand

Uniting people of different walks under one cause is something that is unfair to label as easy, but the members of the Mapua Institute of Technology’s School of Multimedia & Visual Arts Department Supreme Student Council (SMVA SSC) managed to do it—and to culminate this momentous occasion, they are set to stage an explosive finale of their college week at the Puerta Real Gardens, Intramuros on November 26, 2016.

This is not your typical school concert; the SMVA Student Council decided to put a little twist and turn and a lot of homegrown talent in this year’s festivity that kicked off with a week-long string of various activities within Mapua that started last November 21 (and to end on the 26th) bearing the theme “IMVA: Untying Differences, United in Excellence.”

Veering away from the norm, the SMVA SSC draws the “invest on homegrown talents” card by fielding the musical line-up of the finale concert with both Mapuan acts and Intramuros Rising alumni, mainly to preserve the school pride spirit—and to acknowledge and respect the soul, identity, and music community in Intramuros that we have worked hard to serve and preserve since 2014.


For a student organization to go beyond the distance in the name of unity, this is definitely good in our books—and should be to yours, too. SMVA Night happens this November 26 2016, 3PM at the Puerta Real Gardens in Intramuros, Manila. Regular tickets are priced at PHP 400; door charge tickets are priced at PHP 500. #SMVAWeek2016 #SMVANight2016 #ThisIsRevolution


In one way or another, this event is in line with our never-ending initiatives in the artistic and scholastic community in the city of Intramuros. We have faith in the 2016 SMVA SSC. These guys are under our watch (one city, one team—blood of our blood) so we made sure that they had all the assistance they need and advice that they can get from us. To be of service to this team has been an honor for ILVSTRADOS and we cannot wait to see this one bear fruits.

To inspire others from your deeds is what makes this life worth the while. While the announcement for the re-scheduled Intramuros Rising V: Open City is just around the corner, something excellent is coming your way. And we are proud to be one of its sponsors.