The July 30th Ihaw-IHaw Jam 2005
A Rockin' Success!

Click here to go to "Ihaw-Ihaw Jam 2005" website

And the Band Plays On: The First Ihaw-Ihaw Jam, 2005
by Roger Rigor (August 2, 2005)

As if the week before provided all the luxury of time, in spite of family, work and more rehearsals. As if the night before was not already anxiety-laden, with all the other bands tuning in last minute preparations way till close to midnight…as if these guys did not need rest nor sleep…

In spite of it all, here they are. Not quite 7 on a Saturday morning and they were already by the gate of Seward Park, thinking that it would be open by now. Besides, the sign by the locked gate clearly indicated that access to the park could be as early as 6:30 a.m.

Eddie Sabiano, drummer, was positive, nevertheless. And so were Ron Cunanan, bass guitarist, Chito Refuerzo, lead guitarist and Rigor Coloma, folk-rock singer/composer. These guys were the “early birds” and considering what they had accomplished after the end of today, they might as well be called “heroic busy bees” as well.

The back of Rigor’s pick-up truck looked like they were ready to build something massive, given the wood and carpentry equipment that were lumped in the corner of the cab. Of course, Eddie, Chito and Ron’s vans were filled with all the band instruments one can imagine.

It did not take long when one of the Park employees finally let them in, half an hour after. The excitement did not falter for these guys. When the platform crew came to start assembling the stage, the guys have already figured out how their backdrop was going to be set up.

As soon as the stage was secured, the pace in setting up the backdrop was quick and methodical. Thus when it was being hoisted marking the beginning of something special, with more guys that started to trickle in to help, all stopped for that commemorative photo.

Ihaw-ihaw Jam 2005 was literally in place.

Sabiniano, Cunanan, Refuerzo and Coloma spearheaded a remarkable effort by band musicians from the Pacific Northwest. The Ihaw-ihaw jam took months to prepare, with communications among other band members, young and old, burning the Internet and email systems. Meetings were held almost every week since December of last year.

What started off as an impromptu gathering last summer at the backyard of another band member, has turned into what is hoped will be an annual gathering of bands this part of the nation. And what is most important, the gathering is not only about the camaraderie among band enthusiasts, it is about starting a disaster relief effort for the Philippines.

There were skeptics and cynics. But the there was also persistence and enthusiasm among those who believed it could happen. And, did it happen...

The day wore on with about eight bands playing classic rock, alternative rock, Original Pilipino Music, folk rock and even Pinoy disco. People came with their mats and “banigs”, something to grill and enjoy the day with.

The young generation of bands also took advantage of spending time and checking out the older generation of bands and musical talents. It was an opportunity to share and exchange wisdom in the area of band musicianship and experiences. Guitar virtuoso Angelo Pizarro took time off showing some rudiments in guitar-playing among the young enthusiasts while his family enjoyed the cool shade and the background music.

According to Vallie Pavino, chairwoman of the project, “Ihaw-ihaw is a family event and is our way of being pro-active in helping the families who become victims of the annual flooding that occurs back home. Hopefully, we can begin a tradition among Filipino musicians and the community, focusing our hearts to our people. We found out today that it can be done…not only is it fun, it is educational, historic and full of heart and soul.”

The heart of the musicians are in the right place when they figure that playing music, live, on the historical grounds of Pinoy Hill will hopefully encourage a giving spirit. And it did.

Already, fellow musicians from California actually phoned in during the event to say that they will be looking forward to next year. Among them is Filipino folk legend Florante, who is no stranger to efforts like these. East side bands from Virginia and New Jersey also indicated their participation, including bands from Las Vegas. At this year’s gathering, a couple of guests from Vancouver, BC braved the long lines at the border to join the effort.

Indeed, the ripple effect of music is nothing new especially among talented Filipino bands. Not only do we, as a culture, love to sing…we also have a big heart when it comes to extending help whenever we can.

And with that, the band plays on.

Click here to view photos of Ihaw-Ihaw Jam 2005

July 30 Event Update
Seattle, Washington USA

Ihaw-Ihaw Jam All Ready to Rock for a Homeland in Need

Pinoy Hill at Seward Park come July 30th, Saturday, will be heaving and rocking with the music of the best folk and rock music of the 60s and the 70s. Spearheaded by Pinoy musical talents from our back of the woods here in Seattle, friends from Vancouver and California will also be converging at Seward Park as a prelude to the Pista sa Nayon event the following day, Sunday.

Several bands will be performing including band personalities who have become familiar both here and the Philippines. There has never been a gathering this big ever, pitting the talents of many in one big day of live jamming.

Consider: Seattle guitar virtuoso Angelo Pizarro with Manila’s Side A lead guitarist Kelly Badon, together with former Bad Habits lead guitarist Chito Refuerzo, and Heartlight lead guitar Ricky Sanchez, with a host of guitarists in Marco Canto, Kris Capiendo, Rey Delos Reyes, and Lu Chin among many others…

And those are just the guitarists…excluding visiting musicians from California, at least eight bands will be joining in for this rock fest that is moved by the spirit of giving.

The main objective of the Ihaw-ihaw Jam, through the generous help and guidance of the Pista sa Nayon organizers, is to establish a yearly gathering of musicians to encourage the community to bring in donations for the Philippines in anticipation for any disaster that will befall the home country anytime in the future. According to drummer Eddie Sabiniano, one of the lead organizers of the jam, these group of musicians are playing pro bono and are already being pro-active so that the community can react immediately when help is needed back home. The move to make this event happen is backed by the unconditional spirit of those who have decided to join in.

The event is still in need of support, whether financial or otherwise. T-shirts and posters are all ready to be handed out to spread the word and raise funds for production purposes. The t-shirts are selling at $25 per to cover technical and production costs. Should there be folks who are willing to extend a helping hand, lead organizer Vallie Pavino can be contacted at 206-498-0572.

Mark your calendar for a day full of musical fun and nostalgia, ihaw-ihaw food and some good old picnic time at Pinoy Hill. Music will begin at about 11:00am until 5:00 in the afternoon. Summer in Seattle will never be the same again!

For more information about the July 30 event, please contact Eddie Sabiniano at:
Home# 425/771-3353, Cell# 206/ 909-2463 or Work# 206/ 543-2309 (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4pm).

It’s going to be a Rockin’ Summer:
The First IHAW-IHAW JAM 2005
by Roger Rigor (May 2005)

The reaction among the organizers of Pista sa Nayon was not much of a surprise that a concept project to gather together Seattle’s Rock and Rolling musicians for a day of jamming. It was more like…ah, finally!!

After getting the “go-signal” from the organizing committee of Pista sa Nayon as presented by the Entertainment committee head-honchos Mars Rivera and Bert Caoili, and a nod from the Seattle Police security, it’s now just a matter of time when Seward Park will finally rock with the biggest live band music set-up ever.

The Ihaw-Ihaw jam first made its appeal when a group of Seattle musicians took a Sunday off one summer last year and hosted a jamming session at a backyard in Beacon Avenue complete with a sumptuous serving of ihaw-ihaw (barbecue) treats. Musician visitors from other states obliged in the all-day happening.

Guest musicians like Celso Llarina (rhythm guitarist, former producer of Freddie Aguilar and other rock bands from the Philippines) came all the way from Norway; Nestor de las Alas (lead guitarist from Olongapo and a current producer from Virginia), Spanky Rigor (formerly the producer for Sharon Cuneta, Gary V., Martin Nievera, VST & Company, and host of others now resides in San Francisco), and Skye Nicolas (current vocalist of a new wave rock band from New York) together with locals Ed Sabiniano, Hubie Mendoza, Andre Tolentino, Chito Refuerzo, Bing Santos, Ron Cunanan, Dave Santarin, and this writer jammed it out till late evening while an enthusiastic gathering of relatives and friends were concerned about someone getting irked by all these and start calling the cops…but the music stayed on with the moonlit night and the Beacon neighborhood enjoyed such old-time favorites from the Ventures, the Shadows, the Beatles, Beach Boys, Santana, Temptations and many, many more.

One other occasion took even more talented musicians together (Angelo Pizarro, Ricky Sanchez, Kelly Badon, Roque Brothers, the Quijano brothers, and many more) the day after Christmas last year when the Sagip-bayan jamming took place at the FCC to help raise funds for our kababayans victimized by the latest wave of typhoons. It was then when the idea of having the same gathering of local guys with perhaps friends from other states and even from our neighboring British Columbia, could come over for a really big jamming whoopla…musicians of this genre go into a natural high when hosting a jam session especially with visiting ‘kakosas’ (brothers) from other places…the idea couldn’t take off because a jam session this size requires a comparatively huge venue.

The Pista sa Nayon is known to be the most attended Filipino event in the state of Washington, garnering about ten to twelve thousand attendees, savoring a day of food, fun, entertainment and a bit of Filipino culture. However, the day before, usually a Saturday, only a few of the dedicated volunteers come to set the place up. Not many come. And this was just the right opportunity.

The Ihaw-Ihaw Jam 2005 will be a pre-Pista sa Nayon event that will be held on the Saturday, July 30 before the following day’s Pista. A live-band set up will provide the volunteers a good day of live music from the 50s to the 70s featuring the best rock and roll instrumentalists and vocalists from our state and many others from out-of-state who have already made a commitment to attend. An added plus to this is that there will definitely be more bodies and available extra hands to help prop up the place and to provide that Bayanihan spirit before the big event referred to as the Pista. Besides, who will want to miss out on a good summer afternoon with live, nostalgic rock and rolling, classic rock and some sizzling ihawan for all?

Families and rock-and-roll/classic rock enthusiasts are welcome to come for free. Alcohol is strictly prohibited but those who want to take advantage of the picnic atmosphere are more than welcome to bring their own ihaw-ihaw delicacies and refreshing drinks…details about how this will be managed will be forthcoming.

The first Ihaw-ihaw jam will be a precursor to a session that envisions an annual gathering of talented Filipino-American and other guest musicians who all love the taste of rock and roll music and a bit of ihaw-ihaw to boot! Pista sa Nayon never had it so good….!

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