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chilling out

Kitchie Nadal

Kitchie Nadal at Saguijo

Saguijo Lounge
(April 6, 2005) Inspired by the artistic virtuosity by the senior art students from my web class, I started taking the Basic Drawing workshop offered by the College of Fine Arts. I easily became friends with some on my classmates, Jem and Lee, to name a few. Lee tells me she hangs at a neighborhood pub in Makati, named Saguijo - live music, spoken word, poetry, etc. She said I'll like it there...I was sold.

Corinne's Boutique
Not knowing anyone, I just dropped by the place and chilled. It didn't take long before I was talking to the regulars - they're all cool, artsy and fun. It was like one of those neighborhood secrets you want to keep to yourself. I met Corinne, a lovely and engaging artist who owned the boutique above the place on the 2nd floor. Her place reminded me of Antique Boutique in Greenwich Village in New York...artsy clothes and equally artsy people just chilling out...very animated. While getting comfortable and chatting with a blue-haired photographer, lo and behold, SHE walks in. But before I continue, let's rewind a bit....

My Kitchie Nadal Story
Shorty after arriving here (Philippines) last June '04, I chanced on a compelling performance by this cute chic on a music video over at MYX TV. I was blown away by the style and energy. Before I could find out who she was, another music video was put on. I've always wondered who this lady was. Months after, I saw the same video clip on tv. I learned her name is Kitchie Nadal. I vowed to watch her perform live. However, none of the peeps I know knew where she was performing. They would just say, "...she's too big now for 70's or Conspiracy". Searching on the 'net took me to her website: KitchieNadal.com....duh!!!!! She was one very busy chic, at times, with 2 gigs a day taking her to different parts of the country. Weird, but the first thing I thought of was, "...poor boyfriend, where can she find the time?"

Don't Let me Down
She eventually released an album that climbed the charts and her name became a household word. I was glad for her, but feared I may not see the raw and earthy Kitchie that I have long wanted to see perform live. I was elated when I learned she was performing at the UP Fair. Cool! I didn't even have to leave UP (which is really home to me). I was there since 5pm and it wasn't until very late when she showed up and performed. It was so quick. Before I knew it, she was already gone. She did maybe 3 songs and was gone as quickly as she showed up...no "Hi", no "Goodbye". She was just gone. As big a fan as I am, I couldn't help but think, "...is it because the crowd wasn't that big?"

I was reminded of the Amanda Marshal concert I attended to back in Toronto when I was still working as a free lance web designer. Being the one who prepared her webpage for her first-ever web-cast concert, I was invited to be one of the 50 or so people to attend the studio concert. The real audience was the web users and not really the people who were in the studio. That didn't matter. She performed her ass off like she was performing for a stadium-packed crowd. It remains one of the few experiences that continue to linger to this day...totally electrifying, totally professional.

When I learned Kitchie was performing in UP again at the Alumni Center, I didn't pass up the chance. I haven't given up on her. Likewise, it was another disappointment...not on her account but on the acoustics and sound mixing...her voice was drowned by the other instruments and the concert level was deafening to the threshold of pain. Once more, the musical genius of Kitchie remained elusive...sigh! Okay...now fast-forward to Saguijo and her arrival.

Star Struck
So she walks in...Kitchie Nadal just walked in! Like her pictures, she's cute with a disarming smile. I thought I'd be gaga saying, "homina...homina...homina", but somehow, I was too centered and collected...darn! I wanted to be star-struck...to unleash that impressionable child-like wonder and innocence long lost through life lessons. Being star-struck is like getting a high...with no drugs! (Let's be clear on one thing...I say NO to drugs). Even my high was elusive.

As a toddler, I saw my grandmother's pictures of Disneyland with Mickey Mouse. To have that experience was a definitive star-struck moment for me. It was Never Land. I knew it was the unattainable realm - we didn't even have a car then, let alone leaving the country and rubbing elbows with Mickey Mouse. I would have been a hysterical-unbelieving-drop-jawed child if that happened. Much later, I eventually had the chance to go to Disneyland and put my arm around Mickey...but the star-struck moment wasn't there anymore...I already had pubic hair then.

Maybe being centered is good. It made me retain my sensibility when I finally got to be introduced to Kitchie by her equally charming manager, Roca. I asked her if it's possible for me to experience the raw and earthy Kitchie before her name resounded on the airwaves. She was cordial and amiable...and not surprisingly, a bit guarded. A few more tete-a-tetes and hugs and she was gone.

Ending Thoughts
I think Kitchie's musical allure can best be experienced not in a mall, where most of her gigs seem to be nowadays, or some building not designed for good acoustics, nor in a stadium where you lose the intimacy. Ironically, I think I can best appreciate her in the places my friends said she no longer performs in - small clubs like 70's, Conspiracy or Big Sky Mind. These places offer the intimate setting, tuned-in crowd and good acoustics to bring out the magic that made Kitchie, Kitchie.

--- TheLoneRider

Kitchie Nadal Blogs by TheLoneRider:

Kitchie Nadal albums


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April 6, 2005

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