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Half Steps and Baby Steps

Published: 03 February 2019


Today, love smiled on me.
It took away may pain, say please...

...Oh, make my days a breeze
and take away my self destruction.

— Red Hot Chili Peppers

If there is one thing that I regret doing this weekend, it's sending my officemate home when we was already halfway from his place to Lourdes, where we were to play football. He'd have wasted a lot of his time and some fare money. I just hope I can make it up to him in some way as he's surely disappointed.

See, I was supposed to get him into the school as a guest so he can join our Saturday kickabout, which was set to start at 3PM. But when I arrived, there were only a handful of people there: two of my batchmates who were shooting a video with another alumnus, who was with his girlfriend; and then there was Kinky. None of them were going to play. So, I called up Max (the officemate) to ask him where he was. And when he said he was still in Makati— getting shoes— and was having trouble getting a ride to Mandaluyong, I told him to not come any more as nobody else seemed to be coming.

It turns out that most people were just going to be very late. Some of the guys started coming in at around four and some came even later. In the end, we were only able to have less than twenty people; for eight- or nine-a-side.

But that seemed to be a good turn out since we didn't have the entire field to ourselves.

There's going to be a lot of stuff happening in Lourdes this week. A fair for a few days, a concert on Friday, and our homecoming on Saturday. There were a few things— that probably have to do with the carnival rides and booths for the fair— that were dumped on different parts of the football field, and that's why we were only able to play on less than half of it.

I guess things have a way of working themselves out... like the band tuning down to E-flat.

My friends and I have been jamming together since high school. That's a long time. We've always played on standard tuning where the lowest guitar and bass strings are tuned to E. That means, if we were going to play a song by Skid Row, I'd have to sing it as high as Sebastian Bach originally sang it, which is impossible for me. But on rare occasions we try to anyway and I end up losing my voice after just one go.

Saturday morning, our classmate Dodge flew in from Canada, rested for a few hours, then joined us at the studio in the evening. After a couple of hours, he noticed that I'm already struggling to sing Alapaap by The Eraserheads. That's when he made the suggestion to tune the guitars down one-half step— from E to E-flat. And believe you me, it was an epiphany! We just couldn't believe that we haven't thought about doing that in the years and years that we've been jamming!

So, it's Sunday night now and I just came home from another round of rehearsals. Yes, I'm tired and my voice is quite raspy. It's not so bad as you'd expect that after the abuse from eight hours of singing in two days. But it's just amazing how such a little adjustment can have a huge effect on you and what you do.

Half-steps. Baby steps.

I wonder how much a smile will change me.