Tag Archives: caffeine and taurine

Track Review: Caffeine and Taurine wants us to ‘Keep Dancing’


Caffeine and Taurine is back after an indefinite hiatus! And from the looks of it, they are here to stay. Now, pay close attention to this caffeine-and-taurine-brought-to-you-by-Red-Bull-infused writing as we have much to look back on with the trio from the Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT)—chief among them was the band’s erstwhile stint in Intramuros Rising 3: OPM Weekend back in 2015.

Back then, what we saw were budding electronic synth-pop youths composed of Brandon Garcia on bass and vocals, Daniel Ching on synth programming, guitar, and vocals, and Nathaniel Pelareja on drums whom were out playing live at a bar in Quezon City and with a triple-track EP to match. Because of their fresh and distinctive sound that could go with the likes of CHVRCHES and The 1975, and in keeping with the tradition of Intramuros Rising to stage and revel homegrown acts, we immediately decided to put them on the bill. While Caffeine and Taurine had much to improve on their live performances and camaraderie back then, we saw them grow rapidly on the road to Intramuros Rising 3.

A couple of years went by, and they now have two new members: Joshuel Bautista on the keyboard, and Anthony Abitona on bass. Garcia now focuses on synth programming and vocals, while Ching now focuses on guitar and vocals.

“It’s our way of saying that we’ll keep going; we had an indefinite hiatus and almost did not come back.”

Moving on to their new track, “Keep Dancing,” the beat goes on and so is the dance, per the band’s description of the song. Clearly, “Keep Dancing” is a far cry from their previous material prior to the hiatus. It’s almost ambitious to say that this Caffeine and Taurine is a different monster, and one to look out for.

“Another day to crawl out your bed. Is it worth to think that you should try again?” Garcia’s vocals in this track is, in a way, reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Doin’ It Right,” topped with synth-pop elements from the band’s musical influences. Asked about what inspired the song, Garcia only had this to say, “It’s our way of saying that we’ll keep going; we had an indefinite hiatus and almost did not come back.”

Honest and straightforward; a winning combo.

3 = Emotion (3/3)

2.5 = Storytelling/Lyrics (2.5/4)

3 = Music (3/3)


8.5 / 10


EX VIVO: From Beginning to End

Get ready to experience Intramuros in a whole new level!

Brace yourselves as we bring you to EX VIVO: From Beginning To End, a fusion of music and poetry, happening on April 16, 2016 at the Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros.

Artwork by Markuss Javier; lettering by Joseph Molina

Artwork by Markuss Javier; lettering by Joseph Molina

After the successful 2-day music and arts festival (Intramuros Rising 4: The Homecoming March), we are not stopping! Continuing our goal in revitalizing the beautiful Walled City of Intramuros, we are here to give you an event that will showcase spoken word poetry, music, and visual arts in one stage.

From the 1st Intramuros Rising up to the 4th one, we remain consistent in showcasing spoken word poetry in the community. This time, giving more highlight to the art of spoken word poetry, and as our presentation for the Design Week Philippines, we give you an event that tells about the phases of life through spoken word poetry story-telling, backed-up by music from our homegrown bands.

See the beauty of life unfold through the words of one of the finest poetry groups right now, White Wall Poetry, and the newly-formed all-female poetry group, Lakambini. Accompanied by the music of our homegrown artists, math-rock band Shutter LIFE, synthpop act Caffeine and Taurine, island-reggae band Mellow Submarine, hardcore band Saving The Dying Hope, and math-rock soloist, Endless Noise, and visual support from Emmanuel Awa from Asia Pacific College.

The show will also have its pre-event and post-event shows featuring an open-mic spoken word poetry (for attendees only), performances from all-Intramuros-based band, KISSLING!, alternative rock group Oswald Sleeps Tonight, and more.

Now that you’ve given Intramuros a chance, it’s time that we sustain it. Come to Intramuros. Experience Intramuros! #EXVIVO

EX VIVO: From Beginning To End, a fusion of music and poetry, is set to happen on April 16, 2016 at the Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros. Gates open at 4PM and main show begins at 6PM. Tickets are for P250. Tickets are now available for reservation until APRIL 15, 2016 only. Reserve yours here: bit.ly/EXVIVOtickets

EX VIVO: From Beginning to End is an ILVSTRADOS presentation for Design Week Philippines, powered by the Intramuros Administration.

  • Ankrizel Santos

DUNGEON DATE – A year-end special

Yes, we know. We promised to have Intramuros Rising 4: The Homecoming this December, but unfortunately, it’s not gonna happen. We decided to move it on February 2016 instead, just in time for the National Arts Month. And summer!

Of course, we do not want to end the year with just Intramuros Rising 3: OPM Weekend under our belt. Thus, in continuous partnership with the Intramuros Administration, we give you DUNGEON DATE: A Game of Thrones-themed (yes!!!) mini-concert happening this December 12, 2015 at the Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros.


After our successful collaboration with Maynila Urban Design last May, we decided to explore more of Maestranza Plaza’s potential as a concert venue. While the plaza itself was used for so many occasions (Fete dela Musique, Muziklaban, etc.), the dungeons around the area are very much available to experiment on. (Remember Ian Penn’s Within The Walls episode?)

We would like to take our chances.



THE LINE-UP AND THEME (One needs to be a GOT follower to get the references)

Inside the walls of Castle Intramuros resides the major house, HOUSE ILVSTRADOS (words: “Fortified.”; other words: “Distinguished and ever loyal city.”).  Under its helm are great houses namely, Caffeine and TaurineShutter LIFE (who made their ILVSTRADOS debut last Intramuros Rising 3), Sky Garden (back after a long break), and newly founded houses, Endless Noise and Wasted Wendy.

Visiting Castle Intramuros on the same night are major houses from beyond the wall namely, OH, FLAMINGO! and FOOLS AND FOES. To lead Castle Intramuros’ welcoming bannermen is BENNYBUNNYBAND (just in time for the anniversary of their Intramuros Rising 2 debut) who will be playing a long set together with the other two visiting houses.

Friends from White Wall Poetry will be performing alongside select student-poets from the recently held Students Night Out. They are tasked to collaborate and create a piece that revolves around the stories during the medieval era i.e. betrothed love that can never be contested, damsels in distress, the use of black magic, the absence of logic, etc.


For one night, Intramuros will turn into its own Westeros. The Kingslanding of the National Capital Region. Admittedly, the theme is really eyebrow-raising, but rest assured the performers will come in the plaza wearing their medieval dresses–since the feel and look of the venue demanded for it!

But of course everyone is welcome to attend the feast, GoT or non-GoT fan. It’s still an ILVSTRADOS event, we’re just playing around with the things we have inside the walls. Let’s end the year strong! 🙂


Part of the event’s proceeds will go directly to the funding of INTRAMUROS RISING 4: THE HOMECOMING. Limited tickets are sold for only 200php at Sev’s Cafe. Contact 239 2327 to book yours and arrange for a pick-up. Students get to have 50% discount for the whole month of November. Walk-ins wearing costumes (or at least carrying banners [signages] that declare support to a house [band]) will get a 50% discount right at the gates. Call/text +63 915 103 6634 or +63 917 524 4673 for more inquiries.

Lower the bridge.
Raise the gates.
See you at the dungeons!

Come to Intramuros.
Give Intramuros a chance!

This event is in partnership with the Intramuros AdministrationLYRIC, Viva Manila, and Sev’s Cafe; with Amplify.ph, Vandals on the Walland Radio Republic as media partners.


WITHIN THE WALLS | Caffeine and Taurine

The boys from the Mapua Institute of Technology, CAFFEINE AND TAURINE, performed stripped-down versions of their songs at the Puerta Real Gardens, Intramuros.

Caffeine and Taurine ENDS debut EP now up for streaming here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7tPXwe6CT9vixbc5zo1ToB_1gw9tM1ob


MADE IN INTRAMUROS: Caffeine and Taurine


The Mapua Institute of Technology has a reputation for producing quality engineers in the country. It was known as the home for people who have above average skills when it comes to everyone’s favorite subject: MATHEMATICS. In fact, it was a running joke during the early 2000s that all the women from Mapua look like T-Square.

During that time, it was really funny. Right now? Maybe, yes. But most people might take it the wrong way.

As the years go by, Mapua started to offer various courses (right?), and one of those is MULTIMEDIA ARTS—a department at Mapua which birthed Saving The Dying Hope, and now, a candidate for graduation at Intramuros Rising, is electro-pop band, Caffeine and Taurine (CAT).

What’s with the name? According to Brandon Garcia (bass/vocals), the name was inspired by the sleepless nights they had—and still having—at Mapua due to projects, activities, and late-night porn (Ha!). They are addicted to an energy drink that has contents like caffeine and taurine. I would like to say, “ah, okay”, but admittedly, that’s smart.

I invited Brandon for a sit-down to know more about CAT. Unfortunately, he’s a lousy interviewee and here are the things I got from him.


J : Hi, Brandon! First thing, of course, can you please give us a brief history about CAT?

B : The band started out to be an electro-pop band and do covers as a school project for our former member, Geoff Mabasa. The first three members were me, Daniel Ching and Geoff Mabasa. I was in charge of the drum and bass using my MIDI controller and laptop. Daniel for the guitars, and Geoff is on keyboards and vocals. We rehearsed for the first time and we noticed that we lacked this certain kind of “dynamics”.

Later on, we decided to put live drums on the mix.

I asked one of my former (hardcore) bandmate, Nathaniel Pelareja to come and join me once again. After Nath agreed to join and play the drums, the band formation changed.

I was put in main vocals due to Geoff’s health. During rehearsals, we discovered Daniel’s potential in singing, he was asked to sing the main parts and also back up.

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve of 2015, Daniel invited me to come over to their house and celebrate it with his family. They were at their church just doing the usual jam; I showed one of my composition as Daniel improved the song even more. Daniel liked it and was very excited to show the whole band. This song is now known as “Put the Glass Down” and defined the band’s genre as “Indie pop”.

J : You guys are electro-pop—I insist. Haha! So, why did you send your application Intramuros Rising?

B : We sent an application for Intramuros Rising because at first we were like “Why not give it a shot?” and we’ve always dreamed of playing in front of an enormous amount of crowd.

Also we’d like to share the tunes we have created during our sleepless nights.

We were (and still) so surprised we got shortlisted after that, we are very thankful we are given this opportunity.

J : Are you excited for IR?

B : WE ARE VERY EXCITED AND AT THE SAME TIME VERY NERVOUS! We are nervous because, this is our first time playing in front of a lot of people. We are very excited because a lot of people will be there to give us a chance, and listen to independent artists like us. 

J : What are CAT’s plans and what are the things we should look forward to on IR?

B : We are currently working on our next EP. We would play some of our new songs that we’ve worked so hard on, for the first time and never been heard by anyone, featuring one of our closest friends! TELL EVERYONE!



Our organization always keep an eye out for extraordinary talents (bands) within the walls of our beloved city, Intramuros. Caffeine and Taurine is an excellent example of Intramuros’ potential: Her ability to birth groups such as CAT who started out as friends, then became a band.

In all honesty, hearing Put The Glass Down for the first time in record and live gave me goosebumps. I cannot believe kids like CAT are able to produce such quality song. Most importantly, I cannot believe we have bands like them inside Intramuros.

They kept thanking us for giving them the shot at Intramuros Rising, but in reality, we should be the one thanking them for sharing their talents and expressing themselves through a medium called MUSIC.

But, you know, no pressure at all, I just remembered what my then-boss would tell me: The word I hated most… is potential.

So, to Brandon and the rest of CAT: We have our eyes on you. We know damn well your potential will be unlocked into something greater once you hit the Intramuros Rising stage on JULY 25, 2015 at Plaza Moriones, Fort Santiago, Intramuros.

No, I won’t put the glass down. I’ll raise it for you, guys.

Cheers, motherf*ckers! Make Intramuros proud.




The official #IntramurosRising3 poster by Kate Quebrar, with illustrations from Ivan Cocjin.

The official #IntramurosRising3 poster by Kate Quebrar, with illustrations from Ivan Cocjin.

Intramuros to commemorate OPM through arts and music festival

Write-up by Kenno Nishioka

The Walled City is set to celebrate Original Pinoy Music (OPM) in another installment of arts, music, and poetry on Intramuros Rising 3 on July 25, 2015, Saturday, at Plaza Moriones, Fort Santiago.

Headlining Intramuros Rising 3 are fast-rising indie synthpop band Autotelic, Lilystars Records’ folk artist Ian Penn, classic rock and roll band Demi from Paranaque, and indie band Death by Elephant from UST.

ILVSTRADOS aims to showcase the various emerging arts alive in the scene that fellow Filipinos can take pride in. These include independent music and spoken word poetry.

Despite the multitude of foreign musical acts that have landed on Philippine shores the past six months, ILVSTRADOS always remains relevant: Intramuros Rising 3 is set during the last week of July — Original Pinoy Music (OPM) Week.

The OPM Week is celebrated in accordance with Proclamation 933 s. 2014.

“We want to be relevant as possible. We will join the celebration of OPM through Intramuros Rising, by showcasing both our homegrown talents and guests,” said Jeremy Lopez, head honcho of the arts festival.

Along with Autotelic, Ian Penn, Demi, and Death by Elephant are bands that are loud and proud of their Intramuros roots. Bands hailing from Mapua Institute of Technology include synthpop act Caffeine and Taurine, female-fronted math-rock band Run Dorothy, and math-rock band Shutter Life.

Lyceum of the Philippines University’s very own post-punk band Motto Stella and pop-punk band Oceandrive will also be on stage during the festival. Joining them are Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila’s acoustic soloist Janica De Castro and Pinoy rock band Oswald Sleeps Tonight.

Capping off the Intramuros lineup is shoegaze band A Series of Fractions, a band made up of yuppies from Intramuros. Pop-punk band Angelicus (Paranaque), Banna Harbera (DLSU/CSB), and The Geeks (Quezon City) round off the line-up for Intramuros Rising 3.

On top of all the bands, more hugot lines will be served by two spoken word poetry groups: Words Anonymous and White Wall Poetry. These amazing poets will have a separate stage all for themselves! Live mural painting will also be done by two guest mural artists: Mr. S and Weirdworld. The mural is to be used as a photo booth.


The venue for the third installment of Intramuros Rising was discovered by accident.

Lopez, just wanting to find some peace from the hustle and bustle of life, took a walk in Fort Santiago. Little did he know that he’d bump into the beauty that is Plaza Moriones.  The plaza, as Lopez narrates, is a beauty, with its grassy flooring, trees, and lanterns. It’s definitely a sight to behold at night.

There are also decent nearby comfort rooms inside the venue. The Manila Collectible, a souvenir store in Intramuros and ILVSTRADOS’ tent provider, recently moved to Fort Santiago. “Mounting and unmounting the tents will no longer be difficult for us. There’s also a holding area available. It’s as if the venue was perfectly designed for Intramuros Rising,” Lopez said.

ILVSTRADOS has taken efforts into exposing Intramuros bands outside the walls.

In fact, the first leg of the Road to Intramuros Rising 3 was held at the saGuijo last May 5. “We were able to fill the venue on a Tuesday night!” Lopez expresses enthusiastically, as this is the first time the team has brought the bands into the iconic venue.

ILVSTRADOS also had its second leg at the Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros last May 17. There are two more legs leading to the main event: Route 196 on June 12, and at Sev’s Cafe on July 4.

“It’s a good year for ILVSTRADOS. Nakakatuwa lang din na may mga students na nagsabi samin na dahil sa ILVSTRADOS, napadpad sila sa saGuijo,” Lopez said.


ILVSTRADOS is planning on a Homecoming theme, a reunion of select Intramuros I and II bands, to be held on December.

The effect of Intramuros Rising is starting to create waves in and out of the walls. “To be able to create a ripple in this big sea of communities and organizations that are dedicated to empower the local music industry, we are humbled,” Lopez shared.

Celebrate OPM Week by supporting music and the arts. Intramuros Rising is set to happen on July 25, 2015, Saturday, at Plaza Moriones, Fort Santiago. Show starts at 4PM. Tickets are on sale at an early bird rate of P150 each until July 20. Student-discounted tickets are also available for P100 until July 4 only. Regular ticket prices are at P250 starting July 21. You may contact Roy Salamat and/or Michael Bob Santos at 0915 103 6634 / 0917 329 9389 for tickets.

The uprising is presented by SMART BRO, ILVSTRADOS and LYRIC, with the Intramuros Administration and Viva Manila as major sponsors.