Text by: Kimmy Baraoidan
Photos by: Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan
Rogel Africa is sitting by his lonesome by a table on the second floor of Daddy’s Point Restobar & Cafe, watching the crowd, while a band is performing. He is a bit worried that the crowd’s energy has dropped, that when it is time for his band Valley of Chrome (VOC) to perform, the crowd might not be as responsive as he would hope. At this point in VOC’s career, I don’t think he should be worrying about that anymore.
Not far from Rogel is Matt de Mesa of Cog, focused on practicing his beats on a pad, earphones plugged in. “O, ‘asan si Paul (Where is Paul?” I ask Rogel. “Kakapanganak lang nung asawa n’ya, kaya si Matt muna (His wife just gave birth, so Matt is filling in for him),” he answers.
Seated on the couch is Jordan Constantino, Kaloi Cambaliza, and Tatel Marcelino. Kaloi, wearing a bonnet, with his Jesus hair Rapuzel-ing down his back, gives me a quick high five. Tatel, tinkering with his iconic ‘Illuminati’ guitar, stands up and sits right next to me, thumbing on his smart phone. In the middle of our exchange of pleasantries, he asks me to pose with him for a photo, uploading it immediately on Instagram and Facebook.
Jordan is still his jolly self, his signature infectious guffaw coming out of his now heavy dad bod. “Sa’n ka na ngayon (Where do you work now)?” he asks me. I briefly update him about what I am up to these days, since I am on a musical hiatus at the moment. I admit I sometimes still miss playing with them.