Moonstar88 hits it big with Torete
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - May 11, 2001 - 12:00am
Will Moonstar88 be the next big thing on the local band scene? Perhaps. The new group already has a few feet inside the door of stardom with the enthusiastic reception now being accorded its first album Popcorn thanks to the vastly appealing single release Torete.

I do not know the origin of the word. It must be another one of those Spanish adjectives that has become bastardized into a Filipino approximation of the original meaning over the years. As of now, Torete comes across as confused or addled or absent-minded or loony or simply describes somebody in a dither with marbles all askew. The song of that title written by Darwin Hernandez for Moonstar88 is about being in love and all the crazy things that go with it.

The word crazy can also be used to describe a group that calls itself Moonstar88. The news going around has it that members Acel Bisa on vocals and guitars, Teng Marcelo on guitars and vocals, Herbert Hernandez on guitars, Paolo Bernardo on bass and William Pineda on drums picked it out randomly from a list of 100 suggested names for the group. Moonstar was number 88 on the list and they probably decided to keep the 88 maybe because Moonstar looks more intriguing with the number. Besides, while there is not really much you can do by way of design with Moonstar, the addition of 88 leads to many interesting prospects.

And so it is Moonstar88 that is making a bid for the female fronted band category now occupied by Freestyle, Color It Red and Barbie’s Cradle. On the frontline is Acel, the girl singer whose vocals is expected to make the big difference. She is heard doing the solo bit in every song included in Popcorn. And only rightly so because Acel has the sort of pipes that can rival Cookie and Barbie and the same sweet kind of grit Pinoy listeners like in their pop bands.

It also helps that Moonstar88 writes its own materials. Popcorn is made up of 12 new songs that are simple, radio friendly and laced with just the right amount of spunk to catch the attention of young music fans. It is pop, somewhat corny and aptly categorized as popcorn. In fact, "bittersweet pop that’s full of spunk" is how Moonstar88 describes its music.

Now that we know where Moonstar88, Torete and Popcorn come from in relation to this new group, it is time to take on the music and find out if these kids do have the chops. Aside from Torete, the other songs in the album are Bata, I’m Sorry, Again, Fall on Me, Untamed, Doors, Sa Langit, Hear Me, Fear, Panaginip and Thanks.
Fr. Dajao’s lasting legacy
Fr. Chito Dajao, SDB, who graciously allowed Viva Records to use his famous healing portraits of Jesus Christ for the cover of the album In His Time, Servant of All Volume II, passed away after a long illness last Friday, May 4 in Cebu. Fr. Dajao was a 47-year-old Salesian priest of Don Bosco. He became ill with severe hepatitis in 1994 and has since suffered from a rapidly deteriorating liver.

Relieved of his busy lifestyle as a priest, teacher and administrator of the Don Bosco Boy’s Town in Cebu and having surrendered to his terminal illness, he turned to his childhood love: painting. The only difference is that instead of painting assorted images, he chose to concentrate on the face of Christ.

"Since my illness was diagnosed I have painted only portraits of Christ because nothing speaks to me more powerfully," he said of his work. "My portraits are variations of Christ, looking at me and speaking directly to me. Each one is Christ wanting me to see myself the way He sees me, inviting me to look at my life the way He looks at it. I am not a master painter and my portraits of Christ will not teach you to become artists. But if you allow Christ to look at and speak to you through these portraits, then perhaps you will learn something about the most important art, the art of prayer. Now I understand why God has gifted me with the passion for painting. At this moment in my life when I need it most, my painting has become my prayer."

I am sure that Fr. Dajao is now painting even more beautiful pictures of Christ in heaven. And thanks to the album, we now have copies of his work to inspire us.

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