Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Patok Jeeps and Awful Radio Remixes taught me about life

Back in college, I used to commute from home to school and back. I regularly ride the 'patok jeeps' because they are accessible, cheap and fast. Patok jeeps are just like your typical jeepneys in the country-- with some modifications. If you see jeepneys with decorations all over their chassis, from inutile decorative antennas, to abstract paintings, to mottos devoid of meanings, to various attachments of statues of horses, eagles, what have you, Patok jeepneys are steroid-enhanced versions of those jeeps. They come with more decorations, more colorful paintings, disco lights to boot and its signature large loudspeakers playing disco-remixed music from the 80's and 90's.

Patokstep, the Pinoy version of dubstep, as I'd like to think of it. Take 'Sometimes When We Touch' by Dan Hill. Then add a generic bass drum heavy beat and some DJ muttering senseless words randomly  like the one below:

And you get the Patokstep.

I  found some remixes in youtube with this type of sound:

It doesn't sound so bad actually. I knid of like it. It's the music they play during fiesta disco nights in the provinces. (Maybe that's why I like it, because of the nostalgia factor. Aw.)

There's another type of songs they play in these jeepneys. The Christmas remixes. They take a very famous novelty song from that year, give it a Patokstep remix then make it a medley with another Christmas song with Patokstep mix. Then add 1 or 2 more songs in the mix. You get the Mandatory Generic Christmas
remix of the year. Like the one below.

Anyway, during my first rides on these jeepneys, listening to these music is unbearable, what with the very loud sound and the repetitive tunes. But days passed and I began to get comfortable with the songs. In the end I just learned to go with the rhythm (I don't really dance or jive to the music but I just learned to be at peace with it, the repetitions serving as a melodic meditation chants for me.)

So in the end, I realized that I did not notice the long journey, the traffic, the heat and smoke, as long as I tune in and meditate with the music.

What I'm saying is, life is full of noise. It's up to you if you want to hear them still as noise or transform them into wonderful music. I'm reminded of the movie 'Another Earth', where the main character tells an anecdote about an astronaut in space who keeps hearing a ticking sound but he can't find the source. It keeps on ticking when he is awake. Tick tick tick.  And even when he sleeps. Tick tick tick. He seems to be losing his mind because of the sound. But then later he found that he can make this ticking sound serve as a background percussion of any song he imagines in his head. Sort of a Heavy Bass drum mix. Then he became at peace with sound because he can just hear nice music.

Back in college, in another jeepney ride, there was a father and his daughter. The daughter seemed agitated by all the travels and seems to be on the verge of crying. The father consoles him by saying 'Enjoyin mo lang anak' (Just enjoy [the ride] my child'. I find his advice very simple yet true.

It's a matter of enjoying what you have and looking at the positive side of your problems.

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