A Different Kind of Lust

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“If words are the language of man, music is the language of God and spirits. To me, music is the universal truth.”

Listen to LUSTBASS’ track “Vital Transformation,” and you’ll be tempted to believe that maybe, music really is a passage to something spiritual. It makes sense that this is the philosophy the musician adheres to, who is so adept at translating his thoughts to the physical world through sounds.

Doing music since his early childhood, LUSTBASS has assumed different names and has associated himself with different bands through the years: He was Villain when he was still into punk/rock, he’s a bass player for bands Wilderness and Chocolate Grass, a sound designer for imagineer company Migo, and above all, a music producer for various artists.

Having delved into almost all aspects of the music industry, it’s curious how Allan Malabanan, the man behind all these personas, has not gotten the fame yet he deserves. Aside from the music circle from which Malabanan has gained respect, only a few seem to know and appreciate the kind of music he creates.

But why?

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future

We told ourselves that we will be millionaires when we grow up, that we will buy a gray French bulldog with black stripes and glossy eyes, and get him a maid in case he forgets to poop where he should. We will call him ‘Yunior,’ and we will find him a cat friend with blue eyes. This one we’ll name ‘Alma.’ She will have soft, white fur, and she will hangout in our bookshelves where we will keep your favorite book, Junot Diaz’ “This Is How You Lose Her.”

We will have a beautiful couch, but an even beautiful bed. You told me we should get the best one, because that may cure my “psychological insomnia.” You like to send me links on “How To Sleep In Less Than 15 Minutes” and “What To Avoid Before Sleeping,” and you buy me organic balms to help me sleep. We’re the total opposite. You, no matter where and when, can sleep in less than ten minutes. During sleepovers, I can wrap my legs around yours and you will be snoring still. I will look at your face, and then at the ceiling, and I will eventually wake you up. You will kiss my chin, half-awake, and I will close my eyes. And that little play will go on until I finally fall asleep.

One night you asked me if I prefer buying a condominium or a house. You asked me what our library will look like, and if books will be conjugal once we move in. You asked me if I like to have a big kitchen, even though I don’t cook. I said we can have sex in the kitchen and everywhere around the house and our talks of dreams turned into lust and into love and into more elaborate dreams after.

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The unapologetic philosophy of Jess Connelly

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Photo by Anna Cerezo

When I met Jessica Connelly in an isolated office somewhere in Magallanes, she was the same person I exactly imagined from her Instagram feed. Her hair brushed up, her face contoured but not heavily made up, with just the right shade of rose gold painted on her lips. She was wearing a shirt thrice the normal size for her built, the word ‘dime’ written on it. It was partnered with baggy pants, high-cut pink Converse sneakers, and a Gucci clutch bag with a strap.

It was clearly an unflattering outfit, and may look distasteful for some, but with Connelly’s face and confidence, the whole ensemble weirdly, just, fits.

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Wonderful Wonderfruit

Now on its junior year, the Wonderfruit Festival in Thailand has already made its unique brand of merry-making—ecological, sustainable, and above all, fun. Down to its musical line-up, arts and lights installations, food, and outdoor activities for groups and families alike, the organizers’ meticulous curation earned them a spot side by side the Glastonbury Festival in United Kingdom, Roskilde in Denmark, Coachella in United States, and Malasimbo Festival here in the Philippines. It’s been coined as the first “Lifestyle Festival in Asia,” and definitely a trip worth going to.

Held annually in Pattaya, one may not expect an eco-friendly festival in the heart of the country’s “sin city,” but a after 30-minute cab or shuttle ride from downtown, lays a tropical beach town with sprawling hills where the festival is set. For four days, the green fields of Siam Country Club are filled to the brim with art, food, activities, and, of course, music.

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View of the Wonderfruit Festival from above

If it’s going to be your first time in the festival, expect an overall simulation of the senses. And if it’s going to be your first time in a lifestyle festival, don’t expect a rowdy set-up and do away with earthly debauchery. If anything, Wonderfruit is an unexpected treat.

How wonderful is Wonderfruit exactly? Let us show you the ways:

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The alternate universe of Bruno Mars

24K Magic is the time machine we need

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Just recently, Bruno Mars appeared in ‘60 Minutes’ and talked about his childhood in Hawaii. Before becoming the local “Little Elvis” and the three-time Superbowl performer, the 31-year-old singer revealed that him and his family were homeless at one point. It was a phase in his life that even most of his friends don’t know. When the bird zoo called “Paradise Park” closed down, they lived in a one-room building inside it where they shared one bed. The building doesn’t even have a bathroom.

At one point during the interview, the host asked him, “happy memories?” to which Mars answered, “the best.”

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Filipino Pride

Had Manny Pacquiao’s latest victory against Mexican-American Jessie Vargas happened in another time, in another landscape, in another context, the Filipino people would be rejoicing in amazing proportions right now.

But Manny Pacquiao’s latest victory happened during a time when the best of his physical strength and mental resolve have been used to snatch a seat in basketball courts, in Congress, and in the Senate. Manny Pacquiao’s latest victory happened after a series of losses, after announcing time and again of his imminent but postponed retirement.

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Accepting Drake’s pop star career (It’s not easy for some people)

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During Drake’s 30th born day, he released four new songs on a special episode of OVO Sound Radio including “Fake Love.” It took me a while to figure out that all those singing in the new track were all Drake, even that guy belting “hoping they could take my pleeeeheeeys” was actually Drake. Like that was really Drake exploring his vocal range. That was Drake crooning a little bit.

To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on giving it a listen at first. It’s been apparent that the Canadian hero has set his eyes on the money more than anything else, and has been producing radio staples by the hour. Since Views, Drake has become a little too underwhelming for me, and I figured any song that will come after that will be another pop hit with the same old themes — women, fame, success, the 6.

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A sisterhood, not a clique, made by ‘Joanne’

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There are so many things to remember about Lady Gaga’s concert in the Philippines during 2012 — the red meat dress and the human meat grinder prop, the prosthetics-filled face, the perfectly synced dancers, the club-feel of everything down to the crowd where some of them donned actual wood in their concert outfits.

But what stood out the most, at least for me, is Lady Gaga singing “Hair,” stripped off the beats and accompanied only by a lone piano. Before that, she drowned the Mall of Asia arena with a “love speech” meant for the protesters outside, requesting that the concert be stopped for having a “bad influence on the youth.” Those were the days when Lady Gaga’s song were entitled “Black Jesus + Amen Fashion,” “Bloody Mary,” and “Judas.” With one leg up a stool, she said the most inspiring things about embracing individuality and loving one’s self — a staple theme in her music.

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Frank Ocean’s Blonde only grows more beautiful through time

In between somber lines and poetic verses, in the middle of it all, is a storytelling of emotions so relatable and mundane — love, nostalgia, remorse — by a 28-year-old caught in the same dilemma as any of us.

I care for you still and I will forever
That was my part of the deal, honest
We got so familiar
Spending each day of the year, White Ferrari

Maybe it is this bluntness that makes Frank Ocean’s music so compelling. There is always difficulty in elevating something as commonplace as one’s angst to society or one’s expectations in relationships into art, but his music is easy to appreciate knowing where he’s coming from. His songs are as organic as his tumblr posts, his vocals as raw as his emotions.

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