Thursday, February 13, 2014

WHO: KINAIYA VOCALIST DAVID SICAM / HOW AN EMAIL MADE ME REGRET NOT KNOWING HIM

photo from David Sicam's FB

KINAIYA VOCALIST DAVID SICAM / HOW AN EMAIL MADE ME REGRET NOT KNOWING HIM

The good and bad thing when a musician dies is the memory or feeling it leaves upon hearing their works. Photos may flash back events, but music triggers emotions.

It's been a week since the GV Florida Transport Inc. bus fell off a ravine landing at Bontoc, Mt. Province. Fifteen died including Arvin "Tado" Jimenez and other artists on their respective field. We all know Tado, his advocacies, and the sense of humor we will forever treasure. But one of them got my curiosity, maybe because he loves music, or maybe because I've been seeing a lot of good comments about him. 

He's David Sicam, I never got to know him until the accident, and maybe you'd like to know more about him too...





I decided to write about him but I don't want to write details I would just read over the internet. Why would I even write about it then, right?

Thanks to Facebook, I discovered that a batchmate from High School, Patricia Beltran, knows David personally. I initially FB messaged and asked her to tell me something about David. She recalled meeting him through friends of friends and since then David would not forget to invite her at Handuraw and watch their gig. 



She would also love to see his exhibit if it was in Manila. She admires the seashell lampshades and the tail of whale and even remembered having a chat with David just few days before the accident telling him how nice the lampshades are and that she's interested on getting two of them. He gave a good deal of 3K for the two shades and Pat ended the convo saying she'll get back to him once decided... but it was too late.

Patricia was also very kind enough to refer someone who, she said, was a lot more close to David. I didn't waste any time and messaged her right away. Hello FB, thank you so much ;D

She is Muffet Sta Maria, and just like Pat, I didn't had a hard time asking for the favor. I guess if it is for sharing how good a person is, one wouldn't think twice. Spread the beautiful news as what they say. 

I asked her some general questions about David, or Debid to his close friends. The reply I got was her requesting for my email add so she could send the draft she wrote to help me for my write-up. It was just supposed to be for sufficient research, but upon reading her email and learning a thing or two about David Sicam, I suddenly felt that this is not just about me writing for my blog...

 

       "David and I met way back 2007 or 2008. This was when Republika ng Musika was formed, a community of musicians who aimed to spread and propagate world music and love for the "sariling atin" genre. 

He was a member of Makiling Ensemble then and I was always tagging along Talahib because of Burn Belacho, Talahib lead guitarist and my boyfriend then of 4 years(to date). 

Republika or RNM had been the start of one of the best friendships I ever got to know, and feel, and see. Almost always, friends from Makiling Ensemble, Kadangyan, Lakbay Lahi, Syalam and Talahib would just hang out after gigs and just tell stories and crack jokes and just be friends, sharing laughters together. 


Dave was one of the guys we got to be closest to and hang out with more often. He didn't rub me the right way at first, I thought he was a little boastful and arrogant and too honest to a fault. But that's just the way he is. He's the will-tell-you-like-it-is kind of guy. He will not sugarcoat anything for you. But past that, eventually I have learned from spending time with him that he was just a playful, straightforward, simple, uncomplicated and just an overall happy guy to be around. And very intelligent, too. Everything he says is most often than not a learning from a past experience from his childhood days in Davao, his years in Philippine High school for the Arts and his college life as a Fine Arts student in UP.

Through years of hanging out, I have gotten to know David more because of Burn. David had been asking Burn to start a project with him and to just chill once in a while at their house over grilled whatevers. Tuna, liempo, bagaybay, corn, et cetera. He loves to grill just about anything, and the mango tree in his backyard was just the perfect spot to spend a hearty afternoon together, creating music and simply taking about life and the things we aspire to accomplish.   


Abby, Dave's wife, is one of the most accomodating people in the world. She's the type of wife who is friends with all of her husband's friends. Same goes with Dave's kids, Agung and Amian. They treated us all like their titos and titas. Even their dogs, Chicken, Baka ang Birdie treats us like we are their extended masters. This is simply because Dave treated us like we are family.

Agung and Amian. CUTE!! Photo from David's FB page

Dave had an overwhelming fascination for the outdoors. He would never fail to invite us and let us know his plans of going out of town over the weekend. We would be with him and Abby, and of course, the kids, which he never fails to bring along if and when the situation permits. He would also bring others of his close friends whom he would introduce to us and eventually would be some of our closest friends, too.  

Our after-gig spur-of-the-moment trips to Calatagan brought us even closer together, where we would just hang by the beach all day and talk for hours over beers while we grill lunch and watch the kids and the dogs roll in the sand. 

My typical conversation with Dave would revolve around music and how he is currently inspired to write; about the migratory birds currently taking shelter in his mango tree; about a painting he wants me to pose for; about the four songs that he and Burn was able to finish in one sitting in a typically feel-good afternoon; about his new kudlongs that he just finished working on; about some antics that Amian played on Agung; about bikes; about me and Burn producing an offspring that Agung and Amian could play with, never failing to tell me and Burn, "gumawa na kasi kayo!"; about some Rated R things that would be too inappropriate to mention in public. Because that is Dave, very maginoo-pero-medyo-bastos.

 

His plans with Burn eventually turned into "Kinaiya," their acoustic group, the product of their "under the mango tree sessions." They were later on joined by Dak (on drums) and Dino (on bass). Kinaiya also gave birth to Balai Kulit, which later on changed name to Ilaw, a group headed by Gerard(Baja) that practices the art of shadow puppetry. They typically play as visual accompaniment to Kinaiya's melodic story-telling. Denvie (balidoy), LJ (Pasion), Jay (Cabrera) are the main stays of Ilaw. These guys were the main characters of most of my weekends. Truly the warmest group to spend days and days with. 

There were 6 years of Dave until the morning of February 7th." - Muffet Sta Maria


Listening to his voice while rereading the article, so much feels!


I originally wanted to just get some info from whatever she'll give me. But the whole draft reticulates a single message: A life lived with passion, positivity and care for others before yourself is a life which value is higher than any mountains your guts may climb.

I envy those whose lives were shared with David Sicam. I envy him for his dedication for the arts, music, nature and family. But at the same time I am thankful for this email, at least even through phrases and paragraphs I have known him a bit. Rest in peace David Sicam, you're lucky to have friends and family as your reflection :)


(photos are from Muffet and David's FB pages)







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