“So much power, so much emotion, and yet a soft side as well to remind you that Alice In Chains has always been a band that can trigger emotional outpouring in many different ways with each and every song.  By far the best band of the grunge era, Alice In Chains are back and as strong as ever…regardless of who the named lead singer in the band is.”

Pitriff – the most bad-ass Web site in my book next to Booble.com – has given the new Alice in Chains’ album, Black Gives Way to Blue, a perfect score. Read the  rest of the review here.



Charmaine and I made a deal the other night: By our 3rd wedding anniversary we should be looking like each other’s “celebrity crush.” Knowing that even the famed wizards at the Belo Medical Group can’t turn us into Megan Fox and Johnny Depp lookalikes – or even if they can, it will cost us a fortune – we decided to be more realistic.

For her to physically emulate on or before December 16, I chose Aiko Climaco of the ASF Dancers. I picked her for the local flavor and also for the fact that I’m a sucker for tall, leggy chicks who can dance. Watching Aiko gyrate to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in Wowowee always makes me forget all my problems.

For me she picked Alice in Chains’ fallen vocalist, Layne Staley, particularly his look during his brief stint with Mad Season. (This actually surprised me, for I was under the impression that her man in Alice in Chains is Jerry Cantrell, the guitarist.)

layne staley

Fair enough, I thought. Dark glasses, goatee, a junkie’s physique – I can go through life looking like that. My shoulder-length hair has to go, though, but so what? I was semi-bald in second year college, no thanks to ROTC, and was comfortable with it.

in memory

I’m thinking of a dead man.

The dead man’s name is Emmanuel Cunanan, a good friend since elementary. He was stabbed dead in Cavite three years ago, another victim of gang war violence. I only learned about it last week through a mutual friend in Facebook.

So that’s why he hadn’t called me for years. I remember that even when he was in prison – his “college,” he once told me – he would give me a buzz every now and then just to shoot the shit. There were times he sounded weepy, but most of the time he was in his usual jolly self.

I will surely miss the bastard.

Now my thoughts are drifting toward that lazy afternoon many years ago when, on top of Lores Subdivision’s rickety water tank, we plotted ways to own the world and its bevy of beautiful girls. I never thought he’d take that shit seriously… and in his own hands.

I should’ve invited him for a drink when I last saw him in the summer of 2004.