Monday, April 30, 2012

Remembering Quijano de Manila

Well let me tell you this; there's so many things written or people writing about him. Some, too fancy or academical, some really quite a bore. Let me get it straight...He likes Cole Porter, practically anything that is Porter. Right from the first bar he'll start swinging his hands like a maestro conducting a big band. Now why do I know that? Well I should know....I played in front of him many times and I love the way he asked for his favorite tune....He'll raised one hand to catch your attention, points his finger at you and will quickly say....."Cole Porter!" Now that is style.... the man simply got it.

I never approached him and he never approached me. But when he comes to the hotel lobby he would gaze around to find me..then that famous nod. I knew then my evening would be a swing. No! when he's there I won't start my set with his Porter. I will wait for him to tell me. He has his rituals. He must have his San Mig first. He must have the right conversation whoever his companions were. Let the night and the mood rolls first. Then I would know when the right moment comes when his hand is raised and his finger pointing at me. Always that name, always that approached....."Cole Porter!" No other words no other remarks...nothing, not even a few peso for a tip. He would leave as he came. Always with that nod. No thank yous no goodbyes.... Only that nod.

When I heard the passing of this man who loves Cole Porter, I dedicated one set of my three set performance at Sulo Hotel only of Porter. My pianist was shocked and was somehow bored. That night I asked a waiter to bring me a bottle of San Mig. To this he asked me why I changed my drinks. So I told this wondering waiter."No change of drinks! Maybe I just don't want to forget"...... But God I miss my friend's nod!

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