Sunday, August 15, 2010

Banda 24

No, Voltaire wasn't a member of a band. But he belonged to a group that called itself Banda 24. Another group called itself 16 1/2 or Disisais Y Media. Yes, that is how they spelled it, and the Spanish Embassy never complained.

His friends gave him this alias. He was seen as the community's version of Voltaire Garcia, a street parliamentarian in those days. His friends admired Voltaire Garcia and honored him by calling him by this name.

The acknowledged leader of the group was a guy that goes by the name Totoy. He came from a family that was considered well off in that community of the poor.  They had a car, a billiard hall, and had a jukebox that was a real business in those days.

His cousins Ramon and Bong were also members of the group. The rest were Voltaire's sister Josie, Josie's girl friends Elena, Gloria, Inday, Nita, the brothers and sisters Florante, Laura, and Narding, and neighbors Turo, Romy Katawan,  and Ariel. The group would inevitably sing whenever they are gathered. All the boys except Voltaire and Romy knew how to play the guitar. Ariel would always be given the floor to sing the end line of what became the group's anthem, the church song "All My Trials".

As the "good group", the membership grew and included what others may call either as honorary members or "sabit". Friends of friends, girlfriends and boyfriends of friends, and their friends. No real roster. Just a group of people who the community would label "Ah, yung mga mababait". We could have said "eat your heart out, Grupo Disisais Y media". We never did. Even the bad boys were friendly to us. We must have affected them, too.

1 comment:

  1. Everything good will come out of good. I salute you, Voltaire.