I am excited to share with you this TIMEZONES podcast episode entitled »Ears on/of Makiling« — a collection of stories about the mountain we call our artistic home. Put on your headphones and listen to the tapestry of soundscapes from the mountain and of the sonic lives of Ibarangs across the globe.
When Hannes Liechti and Abheshek Mathur, editors and curators of the Norient and Goethe-Institut podcast TIMEZONES, contacted me in the summer of 2021 to create an episode for this series, the question was which city would I like to work on? Would it be Berlin, Amsterdam, or Manila?
I was in the middle of the curatorial process of Decolonial Frequencies Festival thinking about how I wanted to bring together the different cities in Europe and Southeast Asia together on the same stage in Berlin—which did not happen because, you know, covid. While biking in the Brandenburg woods and swimming in the Berlin lakes, I had moments of time warps. In the heat of the Berlin summer, I was transported back to my teens making music and theatre in the middle of the forests of Mt. Makiling. I zoom called with Miles Augustus, and instead of creating a sound piece about a city, we decided to do a tribute to the mountain.
Nono Pardalis and I spoke with former classmates and friends at the Philippine Highschool for the Arts and U.P. Los Baños with whom we shared memories of Makiling: Datu Arellano, Donna Cher dela Cruz, Karlene Moreno-Hayworth, Dennis D. Gupa, and Reagan Rosendo Romero Maiquez.
Most of my sensorial experiences as an adult are calibrated in reference to how I experienced life in Makiling. When the strong North-Holland winds blast against me while biking, I find myself back on the slope of the mountain with the monsoon wind blowing against my face. The sound and smell of the first summer rain in Germany transport me back to my student cottage in the mountain. Makiling, in this sense, is a compass for me. Twenty-five years after leaving the mountain, I wonder: How was Makiling listening to us?
Dayang Yraola lovingly created the bonus talk.