The coronavirus pandemic has hit the archipelago in January of this year. Local flights got cancelled and so were the major events. Inter island travels ceased and so were the mass gatherings. City borders were closed down and so were the music bars and restaurants.
Don’t Stop The Music
Music died a little for musikeros and music lovers of Bacolod; but it certainly died a lot for many whose main source of livelihood come from playing music in bars and hotel lounges, singing at weddings, performing at fiestas, and the likes.
The country endured the lockdowns. People stayed at home. The borders were militarized and so people were frightened to deflect from quarantine protocols. Girls and boys started gardening as a hobby and a week later they have memorized all the mighty fine names of the plant kingdom, familiar or otherwise.
How do we keep the music playing?
A New York City-based Ilonggo, who happened to be stranded in Bacolod because of the lockdowns, teamed up with Rebecca aka Rated R, a local singer, and together they thought of normalizing the ecosystem for the local musicians through a weekly virtual musical show without flouting community quarantine guidelines.
It was a spur of the moment thing which started with a quick creation of an online event on Facebook. However random the idea was, the intention and fervor to help out local musicians were already in order.
Rated R[ebecca] and friends
The show is entitled, FLOW – Acoustic Soul Wednesday Live Session, and the concept is to feature Rebecca and friends to perform some of the most loved classic and contemporary music acoustically every Wednesday during this quarantine period.
The attempt is to replicate the musicians’ “old normal” grind back when they used to go to a regular gig, dress up to serenade a wedding, or jump up the Masskara stage. The show producers wanted them to do things they have missed doing like setting up their instruments together, doing sound checks, and a quick rehearsal before performing to a live audience, albeit virtual ones this time. The gig comes with a car service (if needed), food and drinks, and a talent fee, just like the good old days, so to speak.
It’s been an amazing run, thus far, and the weekly show has been joined by such talented and down-to-earth local musicians. On the other hand, the show has also gained overwhelming support from friends’ brands and businesses. Bless them for their kindness, generosity, and support for the art of music.
Stay safe and stay kind
During this coronavirus crisis, every performance from FLOW’s guest musician is a story of hope, courage, and longing; and, you, the audience and supporters, have become a part of their stories.
So the next time you see one of our local musicians, ask how they are doing and let them feel that they still and always have your support–our support. If they happen to be active online, try to engage them and let them know that we value their artistry and that we shall overcome this pandemic together and we’ll sail through.
FLOW – Acoustic Soul Wednesday Live Session is LIVE every Wednesday, from 8pm onwards.
Follow Rated R’s page here: https://www.facebook.com/RatedRMusicBacolod/