Mebuyan’s Sisters of Peace

Posted: November 27, 2006 in All and Sundry

“When you listen to their songs and watch them peform, you wanna be a groupie,” my sister Rose gushed. She was telling me about the new group she and her twin Pearl are currently obsessing on. If Mebuyan Peace Project (MPP) needs a major fandom, Rose would make for a perfect president. She and Pearl recently saw the group perform at MTS this weekend during a peace concert dedicated to slain photojournalist and friend Gene Boyd. The next day, the twins couldn’t stop gushing about the whole event especially about the artistry and true musicianship of Mebuyan’s women: Geejay, Maan and Gauss. “You should have been there manang!” they quipped. “When they sang, we wanted to just dance but we were to shy to do it at 4pm in MTS.”

“How come they’re not that popular in the Philippines?”one of them wondered. “coz they’re not mainstream!” another interjected. “ooh I wish more people here would listen to their songs rather than hawak kamay. ugh.”

Rose and I first saw Mebuyan Peace Project (MPP) perform three years ago during the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI). I was fresh from Cebu at the time and had just transferred in Mindanao to work. The group’s performance was indeed a fitting welcome. After watching them perform, I wanted to be their friend. I wanted to be their groupie. And guess what? I literally surfed the Net to look for their official website. That was how obsessed I was of Mebuyan Peace Project. I even wanted to volunteer to dance with them. (ugh… such ambitions didn’t push through because I was too shy to even say something every time the members were around.)

Somehow discovering this group was a bit funny for me especially when in the ten years of using the internet, I have been using mebuyan as my username. My first email address was mebuyan@lycos.com. For the longest time, I have been obsessed with this Filipino deity called Mebuyan who has been visualized in literary texts as having several breasts and one who dwells in the underworld. (mebuyan’s story is similar to lilith’s)

***

To discover MPP is to discover a wonderful community of women who when they perform, make you feel like you belong in one community, connected together by the sublime power of art and music–stories woven into songs.

Their website says it all:

Our mat is a world where arts is the norm rather than a specialty./where there are no sounds of war and greed, only sounds of music and laughter./where men and women are given equal opportunities./where every woman and child knows no hate nor fear.”

After three long years of intermittently listening to MPP’s music, I have forgotten how it is to really experience their music. Which is why it was heartwarming (in fact a relief) to listen to my sisters gush about MPP.

“Manang, you ask them if they already have an album,” Rose said. I told her I’d ask Maan. “Sus if they’d allow it, I’d be their first groupie!” she enthused.

“Geejay’s voice soars. Gauss is very haunting. Ma-an is emotive. And they all can play several instruments!” are just some of the comments my sisters made.

Spoken by true fans. After a few days, Rose messaged me and told me she found the group’s website and even informed me that they have an upcoming maiden album. “you can even download mp3 samples!”

Cool. How can I forget to tell my sister about MPP’s website? Maybe I have forgotten how it is to be part of a sisterhood? To even be a fan?

But oh no. I realized that if my sister wanted to be a groupie, I too would probably join her in the bandwagon. To be a groupie for Mebuyan Peace Project is to not be a groupie at all (in the strictest sense of the word). It is to be part of a community of women weaving stories, creating art, dancing along the songlines of women past, present and future.

And you don’t have to even be in their van and carry their amps for them. *wink*

I close my eyes and imagine my sisters (dancers that they are) whirling like dervishes, their long hair swirling with the breeze, their laughters sailing across mountains and rivers, as they dance to Mebuyan Peace Project’s songs of peace and sisterhood.

***

Note: sigh… My sisters and I wished, during one of our group get-togethers at home, that good musicians like the MPP would get the recognition they deserve here in the Philippines. And that they should be partonized by more Pinoys. Instead of the usual fare of crappy pop music and wannabe pop rock music like those created by poseurs like Yeng, why not provide Pinoys music from musicians who are true to their craft and artisitry like the MPP? If it’s not too much to ask.

Comments
  1. The world is too small!
    I met Geejay some ten years ago when she went to Sydney.
    Met Gauss in Gwangju last month – we were at the same forum!

    Wishing to return to Davao City soon….! Heard Mr J is going there in Jan?

  2. Whoa!!!! You met Gauss and Geejay. Shucks! The world is really really really small. Mr. J is I think, coming here in February. Im not sure. You should come!!!!!

  3. by the way, which forum is that? in gwangju? amazing.

  4. JerryWho says:

    10 yeas ago? that’s LONG ago, right?

    and yes… Davao City should be as warm as the people I know there *wink*…

  5. Met Gauss in Gwangju. Great city!
    Yes, I want to go to DC too. *hint* *hint* Mr. J.
    and yes, am afraid I am as old as I look…… 😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s