Diwa De Leon

String Player Gamer’s Livestream Online Concert 2014

String Player Gamer (a.k.a. Diwa de Leon) has recently staged his first live stream online concert in his YouTube channel before Christmas and it was a blast. With the channel’s subscribers and friends watching the show online and its chatroom getting flooded with greets and chats, it’s definitely an overwhelming experience.

Staged at his studio room, he was backed up by yours truly on acoustic guitar and JP Hernandez on percussion. The show started at 6pm PST last December 20 (around 10 am December 21 in our country) so the preparation was very early here, on setting up the cams and sound systems.

The songs we performed were centered on video game soundtracks most notably from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Tetris and more so video game fanatics, these are dedicated to you. Diwa’s arrangements were done acoustically instead of the usual electric versions you see and hear often on the net, so imagine that awesome twist and although we had a day of rehearsal, come showtime, we made unplanned tweaks on each song so it’s an impromptu take which got more exciting (but also got me lost at some point hehe, my bad, so if you have a music piece in front of you, stay focus on it, don’t try to think of putting some fill-ins or look elsewhere or else you’ll caught off guard and have the same miscues as I did :)).

On technical aspect, it was only streamed 240p according to the String Player Gamer so there might have been some difficulties to those who have watched the show live, thanks to our country’s lowest internet speed yet expensive rates. Good thing the show has been recorded also while we did it live so everyone can watch the “replay”.

So for those who missed it, here’s an upload of the show.Enjoy 🙂

String Player Gamer – Violin, Hegalong
Marvin Bea – Guitar
JP Hernandez – Percussion


Featured Song: Kimberly Collado and Lester Namocatcat’s Hibang

Whenever I hear someone says OPM is dead or songwriting is dead here in the Philippines, my initial reaction has always been, huh?! Is this person aware of the scene? Because if you will see the independent or underground circuit, we have abundant of talented songwriters and performers waiting to be heard and get played on the radio. Well businesswise I think it may be true for them (radio stations have been playing foreign songs, the majors are into revival of old classics as well as reviving top 40 hits of today which is killing the craft), but if you’ll get a look of events like the Songwriter’s Night held every third Monday of the month at Conspiracy Garden Cafe in Visayas Ave, Quezon City, there are already plenty of talents to watch out for, and they’re performing their own original compositions, most only heard via posts on the internet, and just outside Songwriter’s Philippines, there are other songwriting groups as well, particularly 7101 Music Nation, which boasts of upcoming artists.

Batch 3 members Kimberly Collado and Lester Namocatcat, two of the talented artists I met with the group, have this great song collaboration and I was honored to jam it with them. Impromptu. The two performed “Hibang” (means crazy in English) at Songwriter’s Night event and also joining them were percussionist/guitar luthier JP Hernandez on djembe.

Here’s a vid from that event.

Mint music

Mint Perform at UNA’s Beatles’ Night

From a world music/triphop/electronica inspired group, let’s go to this new one that I’m also a part of. It’s another addition to the my continuing music odyssey. You’d probably be thinking, how many bands that this guy have? Well as what I’ve mentioned last time, I wanted to be accessible to everyone and share my style of music as much as I can, so the number increases hehe.

Since I listen basically to all genres, from pop to rock to blues to jazz, there are certain ideas that come out in my head that may not fit to this band or that band, so I throw those stuffs on other groups and collaborate. Even if I play the same approach, somehow it would sound differently because of the diversity each brings on the table.

And that’s when I got to play for Mint as a guitar sideman and other instruments like harmonica (just a poser though). The band is relatively new but each members have been playing long with other projects.

Mint brings you the vibe of the old stuffs, the Beatlesque, psychedelic styles of the late 60s era with a li’l touch of today’s music. The band was formed as a trio of Glenn Mapue (vocals and guitar), Andrew Harder (bass), and Paolo Vivas (drums) and later on, JP Hernandez (percussion) and I joined them.

The band is currently on the process of recording an album and hopefully it will be released soon.

Here’s a show we played at a Beatles night event performing originals and covers from the fab four.

Diwa De Leon event Sinag De Leon

Memories on Two Strings

Music and arts go hand in hand. Last Saturday, I went to Conspiracy Garden Cafe to check out friends in an art exhibit and album launch. It was a great event that featured Sinag de Leon‘s art opening of her paper cut creations which was inspired by the music of her brother Diwa de Leon‘s latest solo LP, Memories on Two Strings. The gallery boasted of beautifully created artworks that would run until the 31st of January 2012.


Diwa, also a member of the Pinoy world music group called Makiling, uses a Hegalong instrument, a two-string instrument from the Philippines, thus the title of the album.


Opening the night was Jeff Pagaduan, who performed his original compositions in front of the awed crowd with his ala Andy Mckee style of guitar playing while singing. After Jeff was the main event. Diwa, along with friends Aba Dalena, Zab Reyes on guest vocals, Jp Hernandez and Frances Escape on percussion did songs from the current and previous album.


The album Memories on Two Strings is a two-set CD that also features Cooky Chua of Color It Red and Charice’s vocal coach Jeanne Vicars on guest vocals. The songs give a nice, chillaxing vibe, and as you listen to the tunes, the more you get hooked at them, at the same time it serves as a lesson101 of sort because it allows the listeners to get exposed of this awesome local string instrument. With the mix of popular music of different genres and the Hegalong, it’s a whole new experience. Containing 25 great songs, it has everything on the menu from upbeat to mellow to something that rocks.


Check out Memories on Two Strings.


Here’s the single from the album entitled “Moonrise” featuring Cookie Chua on vocals.