More Constantine, More Mig

As an addendum to my uber-excited post about Constantine Maroulis in Manila, I’m pleased to report that Mig Ayesa (of Rockstar: INXS fame) is also in Manila.

TWO CHARISMATIC rockers who became famous worldwide this year landed in Manila yesterday.

Filipino-Australian rocker MiG Ayesa and New Yorker Constantine Maroulis stepped off the same Philippine Airlines flight from Los Angeles, California, and into a quiet welcome each from a small group of fervent fans. It was 3 a.m.

Ayesa placed third in “Rock Star INXS,” which featured 15 contenders and was broadcast worldwide for 11 weeks from the CBS Studios in Los Angeles. The prize was the position of new front man for the Australian band INXS, a phenomenal success in the 1980s whose lead singer died in 1997.

His impressive showing, Ayesa believed, was boosted by text messages from his two home countries. During the final leg of “Rock Star,” he said in a previous Inquirer interview that, win or lose, he was definitely Manila-bound “sooner than next year … to personally thank every single fan” who sent an SMS in his favor.

“It’s nice to be treated like a long-lost son, to feel the nation behind me. It’s very nice to come home this way,” Ayesa told a handful of reporters upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Centennial Terminal 2.

It was a surprise, too. Ayesa was initially expected on Dec. 1 to perform at the “MTV Staying Alive Music Summit for HIV/AIDS.” As it turned out, he had to turn up two weeks early as negotiations pushed through for him to perform the finale number at the opening ceremonies of the Ad Congress in Cebu City on Thursday.

At NAIA, he briefly exchanged “hey, man” hugs with “American Idol” finalist Constantine Maroulis, who is in the country for a series of performances at Ayala malls nationwide.

Like Ayesa, Maroulis did not win the competition he joined, but emerged as a big audience favorite. “I did not expect to make friends on ‘Idol.’ I treated the audition like a job interview,” Maroulis said at a press conference later in the day. “But I did make friends. In fact, we were like family.”

Ayesa, 35, describes himself as a “funk soul rocker.” His fans have heard him render classic rock songs like they were his own. He has also treated them to soulful ballads.

After a little prodding, the rocker revealed that he was also performing at the Ad Congress with Lea Salonga. “We will be doing a duet,” Ayesa said, grinning, the handsome face lit up by his amazingly beautiful blue-green eyes.

He wouldn’t say what the duet would be, but for his solo numbers, he said, he would reprise a song he did on “Rock Star” and the legendary British band Queen’s signature, “We Will Rock You.”

I have a silly little smile on my face now. Those lucky Ad Congress people.

That Nice Greek Boy

Constantine Maroulis is coming to town.

Who? He’s that nice Greek rocker boy from the latest season of American Idol. He was one of the early favorites (and my personal favorite), but the one week–the ONLY week–that he fell into the Bottom Three, he got eliminated. Some people said this was stage-managed by American Idol’s producers, who felt that if he didn’t get eliminated, the singers they had pegged to advance to the final would exit. Others said that Constantine purposely wanted to leave because his band, Pray for the Soul of Betty, was already releasing their own album. In any case, I stopped watching American Idol after he left.

And now he’s going to be in Manila next week. Drool. Swoon. Shriek. Rub shoulders with hundreds of people who want to see him as well. To that I’d say, “No, thanks.” I love Constantine dearly, but I think I could handle not actually seeing him live.

The embarrassing thing about this post is that I accidentally entered it into my tennis blog. The poor people who subscribed to the RSS feed from that blog must be wondering what in the world Constantine Maroulis would be doing in a tennis blog. Oops.

Kicking Back Too Long

So yes, again I am cramming. It seems to be a genetic predisposition, as both my parents are expert crammers. Ü But yes, I am rushing on my thesis. I didn’t set myself any deadlines earlier, and now the last sem of my residency in UP is upon me. My adviser has limited time, I have limited time, time to get cracking.

So what the hell am I doing writing here?

(I’m taking advantage of Robinsons Galleria’s free WiFi access.)


I rarely mention this nowadays, but back in 1999 I was heavily involved in anime mailing lists and consequently the local anime community. I actually was introduced to Charles (of Stalking Manila) at monthly anime screenings in UP Diliman; I also met several other lovely and loveable people there. (In fact, I can take credit for introducing two people to each other at these anime screenings. Their relationship is still going strong. Hi, Paul and Sheila.)

The reasons for my drift (or should I say abrupt break?) away from anime are detailed in the graveyard for my anime-related ramblings and creations. However, I didn’t exit without leaving some sort of legacy. In those two years of anime madness, I had gotten into cosplay and had started Pinoy Cosplay, the first Philippine-based cosplay mailing list open to the public.

I handed off moderation duties to trusted friends, and so far I hadn’t heard a peep from them–until lately. Apparently, a forum with a domain had been created in October 2005 with the name “Pinoy Cosplay,” and this had the lead moderator up in arms since the name had been taken without my (and the mailing list’s) permission. I felt I was the last resort, so I contacted the founder of the domain and worked things out. He could keep his domain, but the mailing list would remain a separate entity with claims to being the first and original Pinoy Cosplay.

This got me thinking that we can’t totally leave the past behind. As we move through water, we leave ripples in our wake; in the same way, as we go about our own lives, we affect other people’s lives whether we mean to or not.

Car Troubles

Remember that little crash into a manhole I had? Well, apparently, the car didn’t escape unscathed. Today the damage reared its ugly expensive head as I drove the car up into our driveway. Something cracked in the front right wheel assembly, and a nut popped loose. Plus it made a horrible groaning noise and I screamed in fright.

There was no particular reason to scream, but I had been left jumpy from something that had happened only a few minutes earlier. I was at the intersection of two main roads, and there were pedestrians crossing. They had already stopped when they saw me approaching, so I drove on. Just as I cleared where those pedestrians were standing, a red blur of a boy crashed pell-mell into the left rear portion of the car. My jaw agape, I slammed on the brakes and threw the car door open to check if I’d hurt someone.

A man standing at the corner was looking at me. “Andun siya o! Tumakbo!” he told me, and pointed at the boy in red running across the street and onto the sidewalk. He seemed fine and in one piece, and he just kept running away from the scene of the accident.

I closed the car door and drove away. And then came the groaning tire.

I hope that kid didn’t hurt his internal organs from slamming himself into my car. Otherwise, that’s an ugly injury waiting to rear its head.