Saving Us A Riot


How can one man’s voice fill a crowded room? How can that man’s guitar reverberate with such ferocity that its sound warms up even the coldest of walls? How can one man’s words echo back to him by those who watch him?

How can one man dismantle a crowd with just his words, his acoustic guitar, and his voice?

There’s magic when Ebe Dancel unplugs his guitar and sings without a mic on. That magic can be seen in his face, as well as in the faces of those watching him.

Watching him live reminds me why, in recent years, my musical predilection has leaned towards the acoustic singer/songwriter genre. And I don’t think it’s just because I picked up an acoustic guitar a couple of years ago. That merely strengthened my preference for acoustic music. Maybe aging has something to do with it? Then again, I see some of my contemporaries still headbang their way to heavy metal music.

I love the rawness of just the human voice and an acoustic guitar. While one can argue that the rawness disappears when the guitar and vocals are amplified by the PA system, at its core, it’s really just the basics. Raw emotion. Raw and unadulterated passion. Pure love.

I do still listen to “loud” music from time to time. I revisit my old favorites from when I was young (Deftones, Tool, A Perfect Circle, etc.) And I do still feel the emotions that the songs sing to me. I just prefer “quiet” now. I prefer introspection. I prefer intimate.

And it doesn’t get as intimate as hearing or watching someone up on stage with just an acoustic guitar. Or hearing someone like Bullet Dumas give it his all, screams and yells and all, to whoever’s lucky enough to watch him live. Or hearing someone like Johnoy Danao play his guitar minutes before he hits the stage.


Watching guys like Johnoy Danao and Ebe Dancel and Bullet Dumas leaves me in awe. Doesn’t matter if they’re upset or if they’re stressed or tired from travelling to the farthest corners of the Metro. They will still give it everything they’ve got. They will still pour their hearts out on stage for everyone, anyone, who just wants to hear great music.


If you’re reading this, listen to their music. See their 3D: Danao/Dancel/Dumas shows live. See them individually if you like. Look up all the other amazing and talented singer/songwriters in the Metro. Hans Dimayuga. Gabe Piolo. TheSunManager. Clara Benin. Reese Lansangan. Carlos Castano. Mariel Wang. The Benjamins. Zsaris Mendioro. They’re out there. Find them. Discover them. Support their shows, buy their albums.

Hear their words. Listen to their tales. Love their music, love their stories. Feel what emanates from them every single time they’re performing. It’s surreal. It’s magical. It’s pure.

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