Interview with Joel Quizon, Director of The Cotabato Sessions

Joel Quizon, Director of The Cotabato Sessions

Good friend and DJ partner on the past Raket & Rambol performance, has a cool project coming out called “The Cotabato Sessions.”

Joel is the director of the project and is working with world renowned composer / percussion, Susie Ibarra.

The Cotabato Sessions is a full length music album and 30 minute short music film that features the music legacy of one family, the Kalanduyans, in Cotabato City, Mindanao, Philippines.

Joel stopped by Super Astig HQ last Sunday (2/9) and we chatted about working with Susie Ibarra, shooting in Cotabato City and documenting indigenous Philippine music.

Take a listen below:

Part 1 – From Fan to Collaborator, Joel explains how he got involved with the project. (4:11)

Part 2 – Shooting in Cotabato City and Form Follows Function (5:40)

Part 3 – Documenting Music versus Staging Music (4:27)

Part 4 – What is the value of this film to Filipino-Americans? (4:30)

To donate funds to The Cotabato Sessions, check out their Kickstarter page:

Related Links:
Form Follows Function

Susie Ibarra

Download the full interview with Joel Quizon here:

RAKENROL Benefit Screening (12/05/2013)


On December 5th, 2013 a benefit screening of RAKENROL went down in Los Angeles. The event was organized by Quark, the cool folks of Appleseed LA and the proprietors of this blog to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines.

Quark Henares Post Benefit Screening of RAKENROL

The night consisted of a screening of Rakenrol, a QA session with Director Quark Henares & Writer Diego Castillo, performances by local LA area artist, Spazzkid and Sandwich from Manila.

Spazzkid Live

Opening up the night was Spazzkid. I’ve always been a big fan of Spazzkid’s music and it was a joy to see him work with visuals this time around. Peep his new music video here, beautiful stuff!

QA Session with Quark Henares & Diego Castillo

In this clip, Quark & Diego reveal the real-life inspiration for one of the songs in the film that goes “Salot! Salot! Salot sa Lipunan!” (Cancer, Cancer, Cancer to Society)

Sandwich Live – “Sunburn”

Sandwich closed out the night with “Sunburn.” Joining Sandwich on stage was Director Marie Jamora (Ang Nawawala) on snare and Rakenrol Director Quark Henares coupled with the Jack Lord Orchestra’s Christine on back up vocals. Even Raims’ nephew got on stage and folks who Sandwich borrowed gear from got to play.

Quark & Marie - Benefit Screening of RAKENROL

Overall, felt lots of love in the room and I know a good chuck of change was raised by the 200 folks in attendance. Hopefully, the funds and resources will go to the right place but that’s another story.


Related Links:
Sandwich’s Latest Album on iTunes- Fat Salt & Flame

Spazzkid on –

Raket & Rambol: Audio Visions 1081 Magiks

Raket & Rambol

Last Saturday (09/21/13), DJ JoelQuiz and I performed our “Raket & Rambol: Audio Visions 1081 Magiks” for Kularts’ Make Your Own Revolution: Fictions of Dictatorship event.

Our performance took place at the legendary Bindlestiff Studio in the ever so vibrant and notorious Tenderloin district of San Francisco.

Check out the magik in the videos below.

The curators of the event (Prof. Lucy Burns UCLA & ang asawa ko, Prof. Christine Balance UCI) asked Joel and I to collaborate and produce a Martial Law themed performance.

We figured since…

  • Joel has deep knowledge and deep crates of original Pinoy music…
  • And I’ve been experimenting with video and visuals at my DJ gigs…
  • Plus both of us being big music and film nerds…

We thought of doing an improvised set of music and visuals that told an impressionistic story of Martial Law in the Philippines.

In the audience that night were award winning Philippine filmmakers Kidlat Tahimik (Mababangong Bangungot) and Auraeus Solito aka Kanakan Balintagos (Busong, Ang Huling El Bimbo – Eraserheads Music Video.)

Hey @joelquiz Kidlat said he enjoyed the performance! #myor #kularts #sf #bindlestiffstudio

@basyang76 & @joelquiz w/ director Auraeus Solito (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, Ang Huling -music video) post #makeyourownrevolution show last Sat.

Getting compliments from Kidlat and Kanakan at the end of the night was a real honor.

For those who checked out the performance here’s what we used…
Continue reading

Joel Torre: Cool na Cool

Not many actors would travel halfway across the world and embark upon a multi-city tour to promote a film that they did not also write or direct. But, then again, Joel Torre is not like most actors. With a career spanning over four decades, “JT” has starred on stage and on the big screen, in mainstream and indie films, and in both Filipino and U.S.-based productions. And his dexterity is not limited to acting (or directing or producing, all jobs he has done in theatre and television). As owner of JT’s Manukan Grille—a chain of roadside restos featuring specialties from his hometown (Bacolod) such as chicken inasal and batchoy, he is also a beloved figure among foodies and bloggers.

(post-film Q&A with Joel Torre & Professor Gold, photo credit: E. Ivan Fructuoso)

This past Saturday, August 20th, JT arrived in San Francisco for the opening weekend of his latest project AMIGO, a film directed by John Sayles (forever the “underdog” proponent) and one of the very few U.S. cinematic attempts to address the oft-forgotten history of the Philippine-American War (1899-1904). A special event to benefit Bindlestiff Studio—a Filipino American performing arts venue in the city’s SoMA neighborhood—the screening took place at UA Stonestown with an after-party at Bindlestiff’s own Rene Acosta’s latest venture, Social Kitchen & Brewery. Unfortunately, already feeling under the weather, JT appeared unprepared for the Daly City fog, forgetting that a “San Francisco summer night” requires (at least) a light jacket or hoodie.

Yet, despite its stops and starts, the evening proved to be a huge success, raising over $1,500 for the upcoming resurrection of Bindlestiff Studio at its original location (185 Sixth Street), thanks to the collective efforts of artists, administrators, and volunteers over this past decade. Bringing together community members and supporters, old and new, from L.A. to the Bay, it also served as an informal reunion for those of us who’ve been involved in the California-based Filipino American arts scene since before the turn of this latest century.

(Bindlestiff Studio managing director Allan Manalo)

(old skool FPAC/Classified Records reunion with Winston Emano, E. Fructuoso, and Ed Mabasa, photo credit: E. Ivan Fructuoso)

For more information on AMIGO, click here.

For an equally epic account of the Philippine-American War and its cultural impact, check out filmmaker Angel Velasco Shaw and writer Luis Francia’s edited collection, VESTIGES OF WAR: THE PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR AND THE AFTERMATH OF AN IMPERIAL DREAM, 1899-1999.

To find out how you too can help keep the Bindlestiff dream alive, click here.

(JT & E. with Bindlestiff Studio fund director Kat Evasco, photo credit: E. Ivan Fructuoso)

And, if you STILL need another reason to believe that Joel Torre is a cool na cool, Super Astig guy, check out this short webisode from writer Lourd de Veyra’s “Word of the Lourd: Make Your Own Indie Film” series. Featuring a few other Filipino indie celebs our readers might be able to identify and perhaps even “collaborated” with, in the past.

Photos From RAKENROL Screening NYC

More photos on our Facebook page


Exclusive RAKENROL Screening

Friday, May 13, 7PM sharp (doors open 6:30pm)
Ninth Street Independent Film Center
145 9th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


One Night Only! An exclusive Bay Area screening of critically acclaimed director Quark Henares’ latest film.

RAKENROL is an indie rock love story and comedic coming-of-age tale about the binding power of music. This Philippine feature-length film follows the adventures of Odie and his best friend Irene as they form a band and bring together a motley crew of characters—teenage deadbeat, ex-punk guitarist, and former child star. Proceeds from this event benefit two San Francisco-based arts organizations— BINDLESTIFF STUDIO and KULARTS.

RAKENROL chronicles the band’s journey as they try to make a place in the city’s indie scene and face off with samurai swindlers, narcissistic rock stars, pretentious artists, and bizarre music video auteurs, all in the name of rock and roll.



Directed by Quark Henares and co-written by Diego Castillo (guitarist for one of the Philippines’ biggest rock outfits, Sandwich), RAKENROL is a heartfelt ode to the formative years both artists spent in Manila’s underground music scene. Shot on location in the most well known venues of today’s Pinoy indie rock scene, RAKENROL features songs and guest appearances by members of Ciudad, The Eraserheads, P.I.C., Sandwich, Taken by Cars, and many more.

Q&A with Quark & Diego will take place immediately after the screening.


Then head over with us to Mercury Lounge SF for a RAKENROL after-party with performances by The Skyflakes, an all-Pinoy indie-rock set by DJ Un-G (Gary Gabisan), and Diego Castillo (guitarist for Sandwich + Rakenrol co-writer) After party info here


Advance tickets ($20) include admission to both screening and after-party. Due to the limited number of seats, advance purchases are HIGHLY suggested.

Tickets can be purchased (starting MON, April 25th) online at: Brown Paper Tickets




Award-winning filmmaker and music video director Quark Henares is deemed by many to be one of contemporary Philippine independent cinema’s rising stars. In 2003, his second feature film Keka—a dark comedy starring Katya Santos, Wendell Ramos, and Vhong Navarro—screened at both the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) and New York Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) and earned him praise from critics, including Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino.

An important figure in Manila’s indie music scene, Henares formerly produced bands and co-owned Mag:net High Street (at the Fort); today, he produces live music events, teaches indie filmmaking courses, and performs regularly with his band Us-2, Evil-0.


Originally opened in 1989, Bindlestiff Studio became the only permanent, community-based performing arts venue in the nation dedicated to showcasing Filipino American and Filipino artists. Bindlestiff continues to both cultivate cutting-edge artists and work that reflects the variety of Filipino/Filipino American cultures while providing the often-underserved Filipino American community access to diverse offerings (theatrical productions, music festivals, and theatre workshops).


Founded in 1985, Kularts (Kulintang Arts, Inc.) is the premiere presenter of contemporary and tribal Filipino arts in the U.S. With its mission—to inform and expand the understanding of U.S.-based Pilipino culture and preserve the spirit of indigenous Pilipino art forms—Kularts produces innovative artistic works, fosters mentorship between emerging and established artists, facilitates local and international collaborations, and implements educational outreach (K-12 and college-age students).


Doors open at 6:30pm. Screening starts 7pm sharp. Any tickets not picked up by event start time (7pm) will be released and sold as $30 Rush tickets. Due to the theater’s layout, doors must close 10 minutes after the event starts and remain closed until the end. Sorry, no refunds.

Related links:
Screening Location – Ninth Street Independent Film Center

After Party Location – Mercury Lounge SF


Bindlestiff Studio

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