“Maaari bang hawakan ang iyong mga kamay?”

“Torete” by Moonstar88 | It’s curious how often this month I’ve written about Filipino bands that have changed line-ups many times – and importantly, have changed elements that have defined them at their peak. Moonstar88 is one example. They’re doing well right now, but whenever I hear Maysh Baay I can’t help but remember the band’s previous iteration, back in the early 2000s, at the peak of their popularity, with yet another song high schoolers of the time learned guitar to. However, to Maysh’s credit, she’s been vocalist for much longer: it just happened that Acel Bisa was with the band for five years, and in those five years the band released “Torete” and “Sulat”, perhaps their two biggest songs. Ah, stories of unrequited love, when that was all that mattered, because we felt we had a handle (or at least could handle) on everything else – delivered with a honeyed yet slightly jaded tone. Now, we’re crawling back to our shells because we can’t handle anything at all. Perhaps we can take a page from these guys. Acel left the band on a hunch; the transition between her and Maysh was so smooth (they worked together for a couple of weeks) that I never realized the latter’s been around for much longer. And now they’re all fine. Maybe we will be, too. [NB]

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