Most of the tables were already filled on that 30th of April at the Abaca Baking Company. It was Cuppa Folk night, the second of the series so far. Three artists would be performing , armed with their instrument of choice and stories in the bag.
Of course, the #shhhhpolicy would be necessary. When songs are sung, souls are bared, and stories are shared, it is necessary to create a safe environment for artists where they are listened to. Because if they weren’t being listened to, what’s the point?
About two or three stood up to leave when the #shhhhpolicy was being explained. Those who were there for the songs stayed, and those who were curious lingered.
First up was singer-songwriter Vincent Eco. He started off with Never Say Goodbye, a love song about all those cute promises new couples tell each other at the beginning of the relationship. He proceeded to sing about chasing happiness in a sometimes lonely world as a musician. Vincent Eco’s songs are melancholic, and he would usually introduce the next track with “This next one is another sad song…” For example, Make You Stay, a song recently featured on 22 Tango’s #Democrazy, reminds you of that bargaining phase in a dying relationship where one pleads to make the other stay. He ended his set with Someday, a song about seeing someone you’ve never met before, and instantly knowing that you loved that person in a past life. It’s safe to say that his set gave most of the Cuppa Folk crowd that night the feels.
Piano playing-English Teacher Mary Anchit was up next. She said it was her first time to experience the #shhhhpolicy, and having witnessed it from Eco’s set, she was excited to experience it herself. Her first song was Believe, a song she wrote last year after she was asked by someone to wait. “I believed that person so I waited. But he never came back.” (Ouch!) She then shared that in their circle of teachers, there is a notion that they would make good wives for seafarers. Apparently, it is because a seafarer would be confident that she wouldn’t cheat on him, because she would be busy checking papers and grading students. So she wrote a song about that and called it Seafarer. Her last two songs were Double Pay which was about “an angry kind of love” and The Race, a song featured on the Folk City Various Artists Compilation album.
Chai Fonacier closed off the night with her solo performance. Guitar in hand, she started her set with an original song entitled, Beer and Oxytocin. Chai shared, “You know that feeling when you think you’re in love with someone then you start doubting and blaming it on your hormones? You think it’s love but the chemicals make it a lie!” This brought out some cheers and laughter from the audience, but the mood quickly turned somber when she introduced the next track. It was about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and how it is when you unintentionally drive people away. “I’ll see you later, when I’m better. I’ll see you…maybe,” she sang in a track called Maybe. In her last three songs though, she got everyone laughing and hooting again with her stories and witty lyrics. There was the catchy drunk anthem Carry the Drunk and the playful Tingining. She then introduced the last song by asking “You know those guys who’d flirt with you and you unknowingly flirt back only to find out later on that they’re married?!” The song Brat was about that, and it starts with Chai emphatically singing, “All you bastards mind your manners, introduce me to your wives…” to the amusement of the attentive audience.
It was definitely a great evening for Cuppa Folk, and a victory for the #shhhhpolicy, readily embraced by those who were there.
Authored by Manna Alcaraz
Photos by Nina Alcoseba
Stay tuned for the next Cuppa Folk run as we bring you more of the music and storytelling thru songs.
Huge thanks to Abaca Baking Co. and A-List Events, PR & Advertising for supporting our first Cuppa Folk!