Remember This | Jep Peligro
A Letter to Mot (RIP) of Filipino Hardcore-Punk Act Isvarah written by Jep Peligro
Remember this pic? One of the world’s biggest bands in hardcore swung by for a quick trip to our neck of the woods [Philippines]. The place was filled to the brim, it was undoubtedly a top show. I remember the long queue of show-goers eagerly and patiently awaiting their turn at the door to be let in. Bear in mind, these kids patiently fell in line to get the chance to go ballistic on the floor watching their favorite band/s. I remember feeling jaded at this particular show, but I went for a couple of reasons:
a) It was the perfect time to catch up with old friends you don’t see often
b) Fucking Isvarah were opening the night up for Terror.
Done deal I figured.
Throughout the night I just hung out with different group of friends outside the venue. If I remember correctly, you were playing fourth or fifth band that night? It doesn’t matter. When you guys finally came on the crew surged forward and we took our own spots right in ftont of the “stage”.
Because that’s what you fucking do when Isvarah takes the fucking stage.
Your set that night was un-fucking-believable. It always is and was. It is a fuckin cathartic release of all the pent-up rage, the frustrations, the hurt, the fears, the longing, the struggles, the love, and all the hate that we breed. We fucking let go of all the bad things. It is an unorthodox therapy that kids in the scene tirelessly revert to. At least, it is to me.
That is my connection to you. To your band. To your band’s message. We are kindred spirits, as most of us are, in hardcore and punk.
Reypeace said of you in the past:
“He took away the bad days from so many messed-up people.”
And that was the biggest truth..
And we have been, since that first day we met at a gig in Cubao sometime in ’96. To the few mentors that I’ve personally had the pleasure of knowing in our scene, you are amongst the top three that I respect and love the most. More than half of what I came to know about our local scene was all thanks to your gracious mentorship, especially when I was just a snot-nosed teen back then. And what a fucking trip you guys have taken me on. I will forever be indebted for all that.
2011’s biggest hardcore show was with a visiting foreign band. And the only band I went to watch was yours. Mind you I paid full door price for that show. With pride, of course. As any true Legion does.
In the late 80’s, early 90’s, YOU took part in countless contributions to the Pinoy Hardcore and Punk scenes, actively writing press for other bands through your Screams From The Gutter pieces in Rock And Rhythm Magazine, doing Anti/KeepDaFaith zine (when only a handful of people were doing zines in the Philippines), you spearheaded the country’s earliest mail-order distribution legs of traded band merch focusing heavily on CD-dubbed tapes, and reproduced (to death) zines through Stick Together Distribution and CrossxBlood Distro. Christ, you also sang vocals for a lot of Manila and Laguna’s sprouting bands Psychotic Change, Bulldozed, Power Of Discipline, Isvarah, and Bound By Fury, among others.
“Isvarah still remains Manila’s most dangerous band and Motmot the sharpest blade.”
You cannot mention Filipino hardcore and punk without your name popping up. It’s unthinkable.
I still remember how you fellas taught me about DIY and everything that it stood for. Sadly, a lot of people do not, cannot, and will not understand these things properly. Our conviction is obviously different than theirs. And that’s OK. Fact, it’s more than OK as it inadvertently works to our favor. So be it.
PS: Just stay here by my side. They stay there, we stay here.
Mot and Jep together.