Netizens of The Word

The “Pamukaw” days

Posted by Toto Divino on February 25, 2009

Originally posted here by Toto Divino

I was part of the original group of Bugsay-Lambat (the cultural arm of the Exodianos) and of the first production – the PAMUKAW which toured Cotabato City, North Cotabato, Davao, Zamboanga, Sultan Kudarat and Lanao del Norte. I am proud up to now to be associated with the group.  My photos of our tours are still closely guarded wealth in my home.

Some said we were a copycat of the Patatag, the widely popular mix group of youth (we were all boys) who sang protest songs ala-chorale in the 80s.  We admit we heavily derived inspirations from the Patatag.  What could we do?  We were a group of young boys who were barely into third year in college, we had no cultural or artistic experience except for those skills we acquired in the seminary.

We had no professional trainers, no professional writers, no professional directors, no professional composers, no professional lyricists.  We had no formal workshop on threater and music.  But we were young boys who thought we could do the businesses of the professionals.  And the product was the PAMUKAW which, in all honesty, received good reviews from even the experienced critics.

I remember the exhausting but enjoyable rehearsals at the back ground floor of the Methodist church at the corner of Sinsuat Avenue and Macapagal Road in Cotabato City (I passed by the area last February and saw it has changed much);  the tinolang isda with gallons of sabaw; the topload jeepney rides in Zamboanga and Lanao del Norte; the war games (with weapons made of banana leaf stalks), the EDs, ang mga “pagsasampa” at the practice camp; and most of all the camaraderie.  We were so young then and we thought we could change this country.  Now, I realize that this country has changed or is changing us instead.  I guess it is not too late for us to change ourselves again in order to be able to dream of changing this country once more.


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