Roughly three years ago, I was in the park: I chose a seat situated near the stage, and waited for the band to start playing. Three years have passed since then, shards of poignant memories piercing my consciousness.
For many compelling reasons, I can never forget that year. It was 2005.
Sunday, July 13, 2008. I was at the stone bench, which was nestled in the middle of the open-air auditorium of Rizal Park, waiting for the same band to play. Snippets from the award-winning independent movie Iskwaterpangk directed by Khavn De La Cruz were being shown in the background as the crowd waited for the program to start.
A few minutes after 6pm, music started to drift and fill the air. Then the words rang, each line evoking scenes of childhood.
For an hour or so, the crowd was treated to songs both new and old, touching mostly on the band's favorite theme, economic and political issues. I was specifically struck by "Marianett", a song about a 12-year old girl who committed suicide because of poverty and how Bobby made a parallelism of the girl and the marionette, which is a string-controlled puppet.
Some songs previously recorded by Bobby's side project, Juan Isip, were also in the repertoire, like "Saranggola sa Gabi" (which did not appear in the programme), and the haunting "Ti Recuerdi, Joe?" The set ended with two vintage WUDS songs: "At Nakalimutan Ang Diyos" and "Inosente Lang Ang Nagtataka", before the band enumerated their list of acknowledgements via a prolonged jam with Ukay.
And, like three years ago, I walked out of the auditorium marveling at the beauty of Bobby's lyrics, but this time wondering how his words seem to sound sadder and sadder with the passing of time.