Posted January 31, 2016 by Ica Hontiveros-Cheng in Community

JUST MUSIC: Tom’s Story wows in Album Launch

Fist Bump: Santiago, Naval and de Guia, who make up Tom's Story share a moment before their set.

Fist Bump: Santiago, Naval and de Guia, who make up Tom’s Story share a moment before their set.

Tom’s Story is a Manila-based three piece post-rock/math-rock band who have been steadily building on their fan base through their unique brand of instrumental rock music.

The first time we saw Tom’s Story perform was back in 2014 (or was it 2015?) they completely blew us away and Paul was an instant fan. I guess, there’s something about an instrumental rock band that speaks to Paul, who incidentally used to play the guitar. Think 90’s Rock acts like Green Day, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilot, Bush and even Razorback-you should hear him sing too- before picking up the camera and deciding to stay behind the lens to capture the rock stars and the musicians, he once could have been.

‘It speaks to the musician in you’ Paul told me, referring to the music of the 3 piece post-rock, math-rock band on our drive home from their album launch. Honestly, their music didn’t sweep me of my feet the first time I saw them perform, it wasn’t really love at first sight but more of a gradual admiration. If you think writing songs is hard, try with just instruments. An instrumental piece with no lyrics to ‘hide’ from is like baring your soul to the audience and listener and without lyrics, it’s really just the music speaking to you. It all comes down to what the music makes you feel. I know that it sounds too philosophical and maybe a bit serious and maybe even bordering to meditation and medidation but yes, it is just about the music and whatever it is that Gabba Santiago, Christer de Guiana and Tomas Naval have been doing-it works! People are responding to their songs (with matching quirky dance moves) despite the absence of lyrics and have quickly become one of the most sought after acts in the Metro.


Tom’s Story ‘s debut album with colorful cranes matching the band logo and the album’s layout.

When the band announced that they would be launching their debut album it was one of the first events that was marked on our 2016 calendars. Apparently it was also what a lot of music lovers did becasue lo and behold- Route 196 was a sauna! I don’t remember seeing the bar filled to the brim with people! It was a rubbing-against-elbows, sweat dripping down your neck kind of crowd. As a friend of mine said in a text ‘we had to ninja ourselves in’. Paul had to wrestle his way to the front to take photos.It was a fun night (despite the heat and the sweat) with performances from Autotelic, Musical O and Tide/Edit.


It always makes me happy to be in a crowd that moves and dances with the music and the thought that it was a big crowd just makes me all the happier. It’s a Saturday night and these millennials could be doing anything but they decided to spend it in a hot crowded bar in the middle of Katipunan, to show their love and support for a local band who actually makes music and not just belts out covers or  be another incarnation of a pogi-rock band because hey- those get the girls right?

Picked up the album (review up on the blog soon) and now we have a piece of Tom’s Story with us. We can blast the magic that is their music in the car or at home (neighbors be damned) and have our own quirky dance session, or whatever the music makes us feel like doing.

This event was made possible by A Spur Of The Moment.

All photos by PCheng Photography.
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Ica Hontiveros-Cheng

Geek mom to a little Jedi. Freelance writer. Writes and vlogs thoughts, and reviews on movies, series and pop culture.