July 15, 2024

I am sweet pickle relish condiment fan, I use it when I make chicken potato salad and chicken sandwich. Pickle relish goes well with mayonnaise, chicken, burgers and hotdogs. A sprinkling of pickle relish gives one that delicious- different taste. Which brings me to the Pickle Relish Reggae Band. And guess what? They used to be called “Mayonnaise” but changed it to “Pickle Relish”. Interesting di ba? When asked why, Ken and Imson chorused, “kasi habang tumatagal, sumasarap.”
There are times when one wants to listen to “feel good” music and to dance the night away. Well, here is a group of young businessmen and students whose ages range from 20 to 40, who can satiate your yearning for good music. Formed in September 2008 and influenced by the band “Binhi “ of Ayuyang, Bagiw and Daluyon, the band is called Pickle Relish, your answer to having an enjoyable and wonderful time.
They started with two members. Ken Ponchinlan plays bass and Imson Lacamen, is the vocalist. Then they became three. This is with the entry of Anthony Delos Santos who plays the trumpet. They now have eight members with the inclusion of Lance Romero – saxophone, Vianey Alagao, – guitar, Ian marquez – drums, Joseph Diax- tenor sax,and Kris Reyes – percussion.
They play at the 18BC Music Lounge along Legarda Road every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. They come from different genres and combined their ta-lents to form reggae and roots rock music. For those interested, they also play at gigs, parties, weddings, barangay affairs, fiestas, debuts, hawaiian gigs, and beach parties. They have been invited to many parts of Manila and Northern Luzon.
I’m so happy to hear a lot of good feedbacks about the good deeds of these guys. If one is interested to hear and see them, here are their numbers: Ken – 0921 738 2760 and Imson – 0965 691 5611. One thing admirable about this group, is their capacity to reach out and their genuine desire to help people and patients in need. They play in “benefit concerts”or “concerts with a cause”. This Feb. 14, they will be playing at Cowboy Town in La Trinidad, Benguet for the benefit of a “cancer patient.” I have not been to Cowboy Town, but I heard this is a good place to gather, and listen to country music. In fact, Ofelia Empian of the Baguio Midland Courierwrote about it. Please support this concert for a cause.
According to research, “Roots Rock is a style of rock music that draws material from various American musical traditions including country, blues, and folk. On the other hand, reggae originated in Jamaica in the `60s and was popularized by legendary Jamaican artist Bob Marley. Bob Marley’s “One love, One heart” talks about getting together and feeling alright. A very famous and meaningful song.
The immediate origins of reggae are in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument. Reggae is deeply linked to Rastafari, an Afrocentric religion which started in Jamaica in the 1930s.” The Rasta flag has the colors red, yellow and green. Red stands for the blood of black people, yellow for the stolen gold and green for the lost lands of Africa.
Ken and Imson differentiate Ska as fast music and reggae as slow music. I can still see in my mind the jumping dance of my children when they were younger every time there ska music and reggae played in the background. So much fun. Sometimes nagkaka-untugan na sila. The Pickle Relish Band repertoire reaches up to four hundred which is quite an achievement. They have original compositions like: “Masaya,” “ Tuktok ng Buwan,” and “Philippine Islands” all based on personal experiences. They make revisions on their repertoire to make it upbeat and reggae. They adapt their music to fit their audience.
One of their original compositions is based on an unforgettable experience they had, when they were invited to play for a famous reggae festival on an island in Bataan. There, they encountered a lot of unforeseen and weird events from blackouts, to trekking in the darkness – they could not ride the boats going to the islands – to car breakdowns –all in a day. Talk about luck. What they enjoyed most about these happenings is meeting all kinds of people and going to new destinations. Sounds like they could be good tourism ambassadors.
These young businessmen are also avid dog breeders and members of a Good Samaritan Motorcycle Club who helped the Baguio community when the rides were nil. Ken who took up management at Saint Louis University has a car accessory and detailing shop while Imson, who took civil engineering at the University of the Cordilleras has a repair shop for motorcyles. The family used to grow strawberries in their farm in Puguis, La Trinidad. For both of them, or all of them, music is their therapy and family comes first.
It truly is a feat to be so accomplished and be so humble at the same time. Meeting this young group of professionals has been a rewarding experience. Imagine if the world had more people such as them. But, that’s for a different article. For now, let us enjoy their riffs, their music and their company. Kudos to you, Pickle Relish!