Boyong, the Little Drummer Boy for Kuerdas

Leonardo Baril Laguiman or better known as “Boyong” is the man behind the drums for Kuerdas. He is 24 years old, single and ready to mingle 😜

Boyong, Kuerdas Drummer Boy
Boyong, Kuerdas Drummer Boy

Boyong had a hard life. As a young boy, he did odd jobs like “Bote- Bakal” and selling of pandesal in the morning so he can help support his family.

At the tender age of 11, he has learned how to play the drums. He then later on became the little Drummer Boy for a couple of bands in Gensan such as Jahmingero, Hail’s Tone, and Kyrstina Louise. He also once worked for Globe Telecom and as a sounds system crew in between.

When he was offered the role to play for Kuerdas, he was no longer the drummer of any bands. He saw it as a perfect and longterm opportunity; hence, he grabbed the offer without second thoughts.

It’s been 15 months since his initial stint with Kuerdas. He could not forget the first event with them. He was quoted as saying:

“Una- una nakong tugtog sa Kuerdas katong August at Veranza last year. Then gina- kulbaan ko kay una pa nako sa ilaha. Isa pa kay master na kaayo sila. Grabe ka- intense to kay bag- o lang ko balik magtugtog. Gina- paningot jud ko sa ka- kulba, halos dili maka- estorya. Uga kaayo akong baba, way laway mu- basa.”

He confessed that he committed a lot of errors that night. He couldn’t tell if the group was annoyed with or laughing at him. He felt very frustrated and discouraged at that point. However, his new bandmates, especially the Band Major, Angkol Onyok, encouraged him; they further egged him on to do more practice, observe each other, listen to the music, and most importantly, feel it. It helped him to boost his confidence when he plays alongside them. When asked of his confidence level, from the initial 6, he is currently at 9– 10 being the highest.

He prepares for a gig by keeping himself relaxed and always punctual at the organizer’s call time. The playlists are all set as prepared by the Band Major, Angkol Onyok.

He has only these words for the Kuerdas Band Major:

“Si Onyok jud ang ulo namo. Pag wala sya, di jud maka- tindog ang Kuerdas. Kung sa tabang lang, daghan na jud like kanang mag- set sa mga clients, ngita og gigs. Then sa stage, mag dala og tao. Buotan na pagka- leader; walay libog ka- estorya. Pag naa ka problema, makatambag sya.”

He was highly charged with emotion when asked about his unforgettable experiences, highs and lows with Kuerdas. If I may just quote:

“Kuerdas. Isa jud ka dako natabang sa akoa… Katong dati, daghan naga- bully sa akoa. Karon, nangawala na. Isa pa, nakatindog ko sa akoang duha ka tiil na lig- on. Naka- realize ko dire sa Kuerdas na it’s family jud ang pagtagad. Tanan naa na dire sa group na ni. Kabuang. Kalingawan. Mga hilak- hilak, etc. Di parehas dati na akong utok, permi ga- duha duha. Sa sulod sa 15 months nako sa Kuerdas, daghan jud na- bag- o sa akoa. Naa jud ang respeto dire ug dire pud ko nahinog ug maayo. Akong dili makalimtan na mga nahimo, kana bang mag- sabaysabay sa tanan. Isa pa, daghan jud ko na- experience dire like mag frontact sa mga national bands.”

He spoke with assurance that he still kept both his feet on the ground; when he’s told off for his mistakes, he accepts them with full humility and takes it constructively.

“Kuerdas para sa akoa — may mga time na kulang pa jud sa barog. Like sa mga time sa praktis, di jud matuman ang time. Then sa mga tugtog, ok naman pero mas ok pa kung dungagan pa jud. Pero at least, naga- bugsay amoang bangka…”

“Kuerdas is the best. Naa na dire sa Kuerdas ang tanang klaseng bondings.”

Some people has this perception of musicians that they smoke, drink, and do drugs. Boyong has this to say:

“Wala ko naga- ing ana. Pero normal nalang na maoy impression sa mga tao sa mga banda pero never jud ko nag- drugs. Smoke and drink lang. Nawong lang nko murag nag- drugs hahaha kay payatot man 😂

He shared that if ever he is made to choose for a reggae song, he’d pick Get Up, Stand up by Bob Marley as this reflects his own life- he keeps on fighting and never gives up in the face of adversities.

For Boyong’s parting words:

“Akong message sa tanan, maningkamot lang ta ninyo kung puede, maningtiil sad. Lahat ng struggle sa life, naay pamaagi tanan. Pagsubok dapat labanan, wag atrasan. Sa tanan pod na followers sa akoa kung naa ba. Salamat mga LODI!”

Please note that when Boyong was being interviewed, he was a bit anxious in anticipation of the unknown; he was also worried that he might not be able to completely comprehend the questions thrown at him when spoken in English. The interview was done using the local dialect which was translated to English for universal comprehension and wider mileage and reach for this page. He confessed that he felt relaxed after the initial tete- a- tete.