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Get Closer to Never The Strangers

Our Correspondents get to know the boys of Never The Strangers.

Love for music is what brought them together. Ace, PJ, JP, and Francis are the four members of the newest OPM band in town called Never the Strangers. These four fresh college grads from Ateneo de Manila University were discovered by Rico Blanco through MySpace. Inspired by new wave rock and alternative music, Never the Strangers offers a new style of music to the local industry.

To even get closer to Never the Strangers, we had the opportunity to interview them one-on-one and these are the 5 things that we found out about them.

  1. “Never the Strangers” means bringing people closer together. For them, it’s hard to find for somebody who doesn’t love music and as they define the meaning behind the name of their band, they want to bring people together through their music and the message of their songs and become strangers no more.
  2. Their passion for music is their common ground. Even though Ace, Francis, PJ, and JP have their own interests and hobbies, their love for music basically served as their common ground. They all met in college and that’s where they started as a band.
  3. Mixed sources of inspiration. Ace, the lead vocalist of the band, usually gets inspiration from listening to lots of local and foreign acts. While PJ and Francis get inspired by their own experiences and different situations they find themselves in. Meanwhile, JP, the lead guitarist of the band gets his inspiration out of curiosity, and by trying out possibilities.
  4.  Dream collaborations. Other than playing their own music, Never the Strangers also dreams of working with other music icons. Gloc-9, Urbandub, Johnny Alegre, Up Dharma Down, and Sleepwalk Circus are some of the artists they want to work with. Their music definitely cannot be categorized into one genre. They try to mix and create a different sound—just like their dream collaborations, from rap to alternative rock to jazz.
  5. They are balanced people. With their blossoming career, Ace, Francis, PJ and JP always make time for themselves. If they’re not writing their own music or playing at their gigs they usually play basketball, futsal, or simply read books and just have fun. Also, they are very much entertained with Zombies. 

Grab a copy of their self-titled album, Never the Strangers released under Warner Music.

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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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