HOHOL with MilesExperience

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[From top left to top right: Miles Bondoc (vocals), Ian Diaz (bass), Tim Dadivas (drums), Justin Teano (guitar).

From bottom left to bottom right: Adrienne Onday (fangirl), Guido Hizon (keyboards).]

I keep using HOHOL because Guido used to not know what it meant. He thought it meant “hotel-hotel lang” instead of the simple, friendly “hang out-hang out lang”. Guido’s funny.

Anyway. This is how my day went.

Yesterday, I rushed to school to take my oral exam in French 11. I originally planned to take it at around 11am but got to class late in my terms so I had to take the exam with my entire class. I asked to be first, however, upon arriving in the classroom, and pulled up a chair beside the professor’s desk and started my exam.

Right after (the exam lasted 15 minutes tops), I rushed downstairs and went and hopped into a jeep to the LRT. I met up with a friend at the platform, and together we went to UST.

We spent around an hour walking around the campus trying to see if we can spot the band, my friend and I. Finally, after the fifth round (or something like that) we made, we came across Guido Hizon (keyboardist) and his really cute girlfriend Aminah.

After trying to recognize each other (we’ve been internet friends for a couple months or so), me handing him the Tupperware of cookies I baked especially for the band, and introducing me to his girlfriend (whom I may or may not have a crush on), we went to look for the rest of the band.

We took half an hour or so and walked around the campus, going out of the gates to see if the boys were smoking outside, but they weren’t. (Guido and Aminah were also being really fucking cute, so my friend and I stood back and watched them be the perfect relationship goal.)

After that, Guido took us to the prep room where the bands and other acts who will perform hang out. Then the rest of the band started arriving.

Ian Diaz (bassist) came in first, followed by Justin Teano (guitarist) and Miles Bondoc (vocals), and then Tim Dadivas (drums). Guido introduced me to Ian first, who was immediately pointed to the cookies I baked. Ian saw them and called them his babies. It was adorable.

Then Doc came over and hi-fived me before asking for my name. Then he hi-fived me two more times. Later, he comes back to where I’m sitting and asks me what my favorite viand is, to which Miles answers, “Tapsilog nga! Siya nga si Tapsilog!” (Referring to my Twitter username,@_tapsilog.) Justin looked at Guido and said, “Uy, tapsilog daw. Tara.” Guido looked at me and asked, “Gusto mo ng tapsi?” So I joked and asked him, “Bakit, libre ba?” He scoffed and said, “Nagtatanong lang ako ah.

Guido is like the best friend everyone needs in their life.

Tim came over and hi-fived me as well. Then he asked for my name, and said, “Ah, ikaw si Adrienne Onday…? Lagi ko kasing nakikita yung mukha mo sa Facebook!

I am so talkative it’s embarrassing.

For a while, they went and crooned over the cookies I baked for them, and I asked Guido to hand Miles something from me. He frowned and said, “Bakit ako? Ikaw na lang! Galing naman sa iyo ‘yan!” And I replied, “Ikaw na, nahihiya ako eh!” So he huffed in defeat, took the thing and gave it to Miles.

The thing was a mix CD I made three or so months prior. It was tailor-made for Miles, called Miles to the Bondoc: A Hiking Mix. It had fifteen tracks, all just different versions of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

Miles received it, and he wondered for a while who it was from. Ten minutes later, Guido points him to my direction. Miles got this look of recognition on his face as he walked towards where I’m sitting, and he smiled and hi-fived me as well. He was still clutching the mix CD. He asked, “Adrienne! Sa ‘yo galing ‘to?” And I nodded ‘yes’ while laughing. And he went and said, “Uy, salamat ha! Kinilig ako.” I told him, “Pero joke lang ‘yan,” meaning it was just a prank playlist, what with the content. He replied with, “Binabawi ko na, hindi na pala ako kinilig.” It was funny. And really, really stupid because everyone else in the band calls me Addie and Miles still keeps calling me Adrienne.

The band teased us for a while, making stupid “yiiieeee” sounds and whatnot.

So my friend and I just sat there for a while, chatting, which I did not really mind since the room was air-conditioned and the band was goofing off and I was having so much fun watching them. They introduced me to other people who they were friends with, and it was great. I even got to hear Guido smash around on his keyboard and the band joke about giving him a strap for the instrument since he didn’t have a stand. Guido is amazing at his keyboard.

After a bit, my other friend came to the room and we chatted there and sat around like a trio of roadies for a super cool band. Then I forgot I haven’t had lunch, so they suggested we go out and walk around the campus. I asked the band what time they will be playing, since they were initially meant to perform at 2pm and it was then 4pm, and I did not have lunch, I said. They said they set aside some food for us, but really it was embarrassing because that was meant for the performers and the band was eating chicken and I wanted tapsi but I also wanted to stay with them. They didn’t know what time they will perform, Guido said, and I hesitated to leave just because I really wanted to hear them play live and did not want to miss the chance.

Just then, as I was frowning about the suckiness of the situation, Tim says, “Kunin ko na lang number mo tapos itetext na lang kita ‘pag kami na yung tutugtog.” Everyone started teasing again, making ‘yiiiiieeeee’ sounds that God knows why were invented, and Tim counters, “Hindi, siyempre nakakahiya naman, pumunta siya dito para panoorin tayo.” There were some affirmative sounds, but still more ‘yiiiieee’ sounds.

Guido tells me, “Itext mo siya araw-araw ah.

So Tim offered me his phone and asked me to put in my number and name. There were still teasing sounds. I gave the phone back to him, bade the band a temporary adieu, and left the prep room.

My friends and I walked around. A bit later (like, not even thirty minutes later), Tim texted me. “Punta na kayo. Lapit na kami”. I literally rushed back to the plaza where they were to perform and looked for them. My friends followed wordlessly, and for that I am forever grateful.

I checked beside the stage to see what the band was doing and why they have not come upstage yet. There was an organizer talking to them. They weren’t looking as cheery or happy as earlier. I dared not approach because it might have disrupted Serious Business.

Then my other internet friend, Anton, called my name. We chatted for a bit. While chatting, I took glances at the band beside the stage. Miles looked at me and shook his head.

The band was not playing anymore.

Distressed, I apologized to Anton and said I would be back. He was a fan of the band as well, so he went and let me go. He waited by the sides. Anton is wonderful.

Miles met me halfway, walking away from the band, and telling me what had happened. The organizer they were talking to just a bit ago told them the bad news. “Hindi na kami tutugtog,” Miles said. His voice tried to mask the disappointment he felt and I wanted to pet his fluffy hair to try and make him feel better. He was still smiling, but I could feel he was at least a little angry inside. I told him how disappointing that was, and said, “Nakakabadtrip naman ‘yun,” and I swear to God I was pouting and frowning over this. Miles replied, “Oo, eh kaso di na ako pwedeng mabadtrip. Bad trip na nga silang lahat oh, dadagdag pa ako. Sorry talaga, Adrienne. Pumunta ka pa dito para lang marinig kami.” And in that moment, I swear, my respect for Miles was at its all-time high. I really admire his strength in the midst of the bullshit that happened, being the collected one in spite of everyone else around him being angry. “Ganito talaga dito sa UST. Buti pa sa UP, ano, matino yung organizing sa events?” He laughed.

Miles is amazing, so brilliant and dorky and amazing.

I looked behind him to where the band was congregating, and Guido was sitting on the steps of the stage. He looked really upset, and you could feel his anger seething from where I was. Tim looked pissed as well. Guido told them to go pack their instruments in the car, so he started walking away with his keyboard. The others followed, but I caught up to them. When I asked them what was going on, Guido was already gone. (He is too tall for my short dwarf legs.) I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him, which made me extra sad because he is my favorite in the band and I am so grateful to him, because the day wouldn’t even have gone the way it did if it weren’t for him. But at least I got to say goodbye to his girlfriend, and she was really nice and adorable and, really, way to go, Guido. Imbitado ako sa kasal please.

I really, really love Guido, just for the record. He’s a wonderful friend, a terrible joker, a perfectly talented musician, a not-so-responsible adult, and everything about him is just perfect despite my occasional urge to hit him with something. I’m so glad that I got to befriend a person like him. He deserves all the good things in the world, all of it. He’s an inspiration to me.

Anyway, after catching up to the band (sans Miles and Guido), I asked them what had happened. They were talking to one of their friends, who I’m assuming was in the student council or something similarly big to have enough power to be feared when angered, and I overheard them say that they were proud of Tim for doing what he did. Apparently, Tim yelled at the organizer for the shit that had happened.

Sorry, faulty kasi yung sound system, at fault din namin medyo,” was what I remember they said the organizer had apologized with.

Medyo?! Baka fault niyo talaga,” Tim had said.

Tim is scary when he’s angry. I love it.

The band approved of what he had done, because man, who wouldn’t be angry in that kind of situation? They explained to me (each of them) what had happened, and Ian, Tim and Justin kept on apologizing.

Pumunta lang talaga ako para marinig kayo tumugtog,” I said.

One of their friends, I forgot his name, so sorry, said, “So pumunta ka ng UST para lang makita sila?

Gusto ko lang silang marinig tumugtog ng live,” I replied.

After that, Ian, Tim and Justin kept on apologizing some more.

Sorry talaga,” Ian had said. “Thank you sa cookies! Sorry hindi kami nakatugtog.

Tim also kept on apologizing. He was even bowing to me, and kept on saying, “Uy, sorry talaga” repeatedly. I, being the awkward piece of shit I am, patted him on the shoulder and said, “Okay lang, ‘wag kayong mag-sorry please, hindi niyo naman kasalanan eh.

At that point I was very near tears. I was this close to crying in front of them. I didn’t want to see them upset or anything near that, and it literally broke my heart right when Miles shook his head at me, and I just wanted to hear my favorite band perform live. I hated seeing them so disappointed and angry. I was so sad about it. That was the first time I met them but it already felt like they were some of my closest, most important friends.

Tugtugan niyo na lang si Addie dito, sayang naman pagpunta niya,” their other friend had suggested.

Teka, okay lang ba sa iyo ang acoustic set? Magseset-up kami dito, okay lang sa ‘yo?” Justin asked me. I wanted to fucking cry. They’re amazing.

I laughed and said it was fine but they didn’t have to. The woman selling C2 behind us tried to peddle her drinks at us. Tim asked, “Libre ba yan, ate?” and she laughed and said no. Tim bought a bottle anyway.

After a while more, and comments like, “Pupunta ka bang Lantern Parade? See you!” and “Nasa Dapitan na si Miles, hindi na yata babalik yun,” we decided to go.

Saan ka na nito?” Ian and Justin asked.

Uuwi na ako,” I said.

Ha? Eh maaga pa eh!

May exam pa ako bukas. Tsaka, kaya nga lang talaga ako pumunta dito, para marinig na kayong live. Limang buwan ko na ring pinaplanong pumunta sa gigs at concerts kaso laging namamali ng timing eh.

Justin then said, “Sama ka na lang sa amin. Hatid ka namin!

I asked, “Saan ba kayo pupunta?

Ian replied, “Eastwood kami. Iinom. Taga-saan ka ba?

Sa Marikina pa ako, okay lang, ‘wag na!

Marikina?” Ian shouted at Tim. “Uy, sumabay ka na lang kay Tim, taga-Marikina din yan eh!

Ha?” Tim asked, confused. He was standing apart and talking to someone else.

Taga-Marikina daw siya oh, sabay na kayo!” Ian explained.

I forgot what happened after that, but after more apologies from the remaining band members, a few more jokes, and last farewells, we finally parted ways.

I had to hug my friend right after that. I needed support. Probably because I didn’t eat lunch, probably because I was too sad. Either way, I needed support.

Here’s the conclusion to my day.

MilesExperience is an amazing band. They’re not only extremely talented and hard-working, but they’re also friendly, down-to-earth, corny, humble, and every single positive adjective I can use to describe them shall be spent on them. I knew since late July that when I got into them, I’d get into them deep, but honestly, I didn’t think it would be this deep.

I love their music. It’s the perfect mix of smooth, sexy (I hate using this word, it feels awkward) vocals, intense guitar riffs, plus fucking amazing keyboards, and the kind of drums that don’t purposefully bash into your skull. They’ve versatile and flexible enough to fit any kind of genre they want to play, but personally, I’d fit them in their own, one that I call foreplay.

I love the band. The way they write songs and play music not for the money, not for the fame, but for the sole reason that they simply love music. Everything else, to them, is just a bonus: the fans (although Guido doesn’t like it when I refer to fans, he says they do not have those, they just have friends (yeah right, Guido!)), the funds, the exposure. As a unit, they function efficiently, not giving in to the typical Filipino time that everyone else so religiously obeys, rockstars or not. As musicians, they’re professional and talented and everything you could possibly ask for. As friends, they’re so, so comfortable with each other and with other people. They joke around, chat you up, accommodate you, make you feel at home. And that’s what I loved most when I was with them; it felt like home. There was, though, still a bit of nervousness and shyness to me, but it already was an amazing feat to not fidget and constantly be on the verge of tears around the five people I idolize. It felt comfortable. And that was more than okay.

I love each member of the band. No, really, I do love them. (Feeling close masyado, but it’s not just in that fangirl way that I love them (though there’s still that), but if they would count me as a friend, then that would justify all the things I feel for them. I really do feel this way about each of them.) Each and every one of them were friendly and amicable and had their own brand of humor and charm that made it so easy to grow attached to them in such a short time.

Miles is truly a dork; back when I was still annoying enough to constantly try to chat him on Facebook, he would pull some really corny jokes that were both stupid and funny. He’s just generally amazing as a person and a musician and I have not enough words to explain how much I respect and adore him. Even though he seems kind of stoned all the time, and his hair is so full of secrets and probably the Yamashita Treasure, he’s wonderful and it’s refreshing to be around a guy like him.

Ian is funny and sweet; I did not have prior expectations nor basis for comparison regarding how he is, but it was such a pleasant surprise to be acquainted with Ian. He was adorable and the way he’d jump in with jokes and ride along them is just really something to behold. The band teases him a lot, but I’m glad it’s all in good nature, and that he uses those jokes on himself to make references and get laughs from others.

Doc is amusing and really friendly, and his hair, wonderful in photos, is fabulous up close. No, really, if I ever get a future crush in this band, it’s probably Doc’s hair. How does he keep it like that? It’s so pretty! He’s like a fabulous datu of pre-colonial Philippines. He would probably have gotten that position using his hair. I wouldn’t even contest it. But, yeah, Doc is really nice and funny in his own right.

Tim is kind and also sweet (everyone in the band is, I guess? I’d be repeating myself a lot but that’s only because it’s true) and considerate; he was probably the one who apologized most when we found out they wouldn’t get to play. And he did this dumb hi-five with me. He had said, “Naturo na ba sa iyo yung hug?” And I was really confused because what, what hug, are we going to hug, no, I am confused? But then he hi-fives me, and oh, he was referring to the hi-five hug. He took my number so he could alert me when the band would be playing. We didn’t get to talk a lot, because we were sitting in opposite sides of the prep room, but if I had anything to tell him that wouldn’t involve me stuttering and him being too interesting that it overwhelms me, I am positive we’d get along really well. Also, I really admire how he took it to himself to actively get mad at the organizer. People who get mad quietly terrify me. But Tim was expressive, and those kinds of people are quite easier to trust. He seemed responsible enough to handle his band like that, and even more so that he’s got what, five or six or something more bands that he plays for. And this is why my friend and I refer to Tim as ang pambansang drummer ng Pilipinas.

And finally, Guido. I don’t even know where to start with Guido. He’s just a really awesome guy. Siya talaga yung favorite ko sa banda, at siya rin ang pinaka-idol ko sa lahat. Maybe it started out as an overwhelming thing when he replied to my tweets about his band, because I really did not sign up for this friendship, but it’s more than most of the ones I’ve had in the past year. Guido’s a humble man (kasi gurang na siya) who made me feel comfortable over time because he seems like a perfectly normal guy who genuinely cares. I remember having been stuck in a self-loathing funk (that I am, sadly, back in), and whenever I would talk to him, he would ask me right away, “How are you?” and talk to me about it before I distract him by being a nerd or something else. We share the same opinions and views about some stuff that, I admit, is something really important to me, and he was a dork during their finals week with those godawful puns and jokes (I have them compiled in a folder in my laptop to look at when I feel sad), but he was an accommodating dork who actually stopped to give me the time of day, and for that I’m forever grateful. Another thing I admire most about him is that he really, really, really loves his girlfriend. He’s not loud about it, and he doesn’t publicly show it off, but I know for a fact that Aminah knows he really does love her, and that’s what matters. You should’ve been there when we were talking about it weeks ago, when they were just together for a couple days. It was adorable. He was all worship-y and stuff. Basta, sobrang cute nila ni Aminah. #relationshipgoals. Basta, yun. Guido is the top person from the band that I can consider my good friend (kaso nakakahiyang aminin kasi baka hindi mutual feels), and he’s so, so good.

Now, I’ve gone on too long about MilesExperience. But they’re just that good. As musicians, and as people. And I would give anything to get them the recognition they deserve. I hope to hang out with them at their next gig and finally hear them live.