Saturday, November 21, 2015

Philippines: Enchanted River and Hagonoy Island in Surigao del Sur

On my first visit back to The Philippines in just over 30 years, it was critical to visit a couple of important geologic hot spots while visiting Surigao del Sur. These area's near Bislig, were once in the shadow of an economic powerhouse known as PICOP, SE Asia's largest pulp and paper/forestry industry operation. As a child, we'd visit both the now popular cave, in Hinatuan and took trips by banca to Hagonoy Island, which is now privately owned/managed (not generally open to the public). We are very thankful to our hosts and to the people of Bislig/Mangagoy, who opened their homes and hearts to us on our short 3-day stay. Special thanks to my JMS classmates Jun Osano, Dennis Formarejo and his lovely wife, Cresty for their hospitality while there. Gratitude also to Dely Marcojos, who hosted us at her hotel, PCI and Willie Fuentes, who helped us get back the kabaw horns that were confiscated by airport security in Butuan. We feel incredibly fortunate and humbled to be able to come back and visit the good people of Bislig and relish the wonder of your most incredible natural tropical landscapes. We shall return!

Shot entirely with a GoPro 4 Silver
Camera: Lana Wirges and Kevin Balmer 
Video produced by Diggable Monkey

More on Enchanted River Cave from Wikipedia: 

The first exploration to the underground cave of the Hinatuan Enchanted River was made by Alex Santos in 1999. The major exploration to the underground cave system started eleven years later when a group of three cave divers led by Dr. Alfonso Amores with team members Bernil Gastardo and Emgee Guillermo entered the cave in February 2010. The major exploration led to the discovery of a hidden underground cave opening at 30 meters depth. Succeeding expeditions have been made that led to the discovery of the underwater cave's chamber. During its sixth expedition on June 17, 2014, Dr. Amores perished after failing to exit the narrow entrance to the cave due to a cardiac arrest at 40-meter depth inside the narrow tunnel to the Mayor's Chamber of the underground cave in the Hinatuan Enchanted River. The river's unusual colors and unexplored depths has inspired various local legends. One story tell of fairies that added the colors of sapphire and jade to the river to make its unique shade. Local fisherfolk also report seeing fish in the river that cannot be caught through any means. According to locals, the river was called the Enchanted River because of the engkantos that dwell there. Their legends also say that the river is haunted by supernatural beings which act as its protectors.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Building Movement: The Dance Pavilion Story @ Oregon Country Fair

At long last... When Matthew McCune first mentioned this effort to me a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to be a part of telling this fantastic story. Thank you to everyone who participated in helping make this little piece a reality. Special thanks to Geoffrey Squier Silver and Sallie Edmunds for reviewing the proposal and giving me a green light. There are so many more stories to share from OCF. I'm so honored to have been a part of this one! If you like what you see, please don't hesitate to "share" it out...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

SORIAH @ the Dave Camp Memorial 07/22/15

Soriah sings by special request of the deceased at the Dave Camp memorial held at RefugePDX, in Portland, Oregon. This one's for you, Dave! 

"Ehecat"l by Soriah with Ashkelon Sain

Saturday, February 28, 2015

MarchFourth in China: Interview Outtakes #5 - Cynthia Rocks

The success of the MarchFourth in China tour owes much to Cynthia Dang, our language interpreter. Here she is in action and some personal thoughts on her future as a Chinese/English language expert.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Katherine Bird - Transformance

Diggable Monkey is excited to announce that we're working with Katherine Bird to produce a series of video products for her business. We've been recording in session, as well as out in nature's great wide open. It has been wonderful getting to know her and discovering her tremendous talent as a spiritual healer. We're looking forward to sharing the finished product with you!  For more on Transformance events with Katherine Bird, go to: 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

March Fourth in China 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

HOWL: A Benefit For City Repair Project

12th Annual Halloween Benefit for City Repair Project
Friday Oct. 31st 9pm-5am
320 SE 2nd St. Portland, OR
21+ (bring ID)
(¯`·._.• TICKETS •._.·´¯)
*We will be selling less tickets this year so look for updates on Facebook page for current status.
Tier 1 tickets- $35 (Limited)
Tier 2 tickets- $40
~=~ Ticket Outlets (No fees, available Oct 1st) ~=~
Metro (3524 SE Hawthorne)
Frock (1439 NE Alberta)
(¯`·._.• LINEUP •._.·´¯)
~=~ Hexing House (Exterior - 2nd Ave - House Music) ~=~
T Mixwell (CHI)
Forest Avery
Miles Airon (EUG)
Clay Watkins
Dj Tracy
Doc Manny
Alignment Sound
Photos by Dabooth
~=~ The Crypt (Interior Main flr - Bass Music) ~=~
The Pirate (SC)
Jocelyn (SF)
Paranome (Bend)
Chrome Wolves
Doc Riz
~=~ Los Muertos (Interior - 2nd flr - Live Music & Midtempo Electronic) ~=~
Patchy Sanders (ASHLAND)
Indubious (ASHLAND)
Subaqueous (SEA)
Collaborative ancestral altar art installation with Lynzee Lynx & Rachae Rice
~=~ Grooveyard Stage (Exterior - 3rd - Funky Breaks & House) ~=~
Global Ruckus
Bridge Town Revue with
Groove Yard Wenches
On the C.S. Tere Pirate Ship

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Getcha Now" MarchFourth in Germany

Watch M4 dance team alums LaTisha Stickland, Jen Forti and Ariel Brantley-Dalglish rock "Getcha Now" in Hannoversch Muenden, Germany, back in Sept. 2010.

Video by Diggable Monkey

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Soriah Tuvan Throat Singer

Perhaps the most rewarding part of my life is that I get to work with some of the most innovative and talented creative people in Portland. Enrique Ugalde and his incredible throat singing was embedded in me from the time I first heard him perform over 10 years ago. He is a tremendous force of nature and wonderful human being. If you know or respect his work, please don't hesitate to spread the word through liking or share this bio piece. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Soriah: Tuvan Throat Singer (Enrique Ugalde)

Soriah, which translates as “Milky Way” from Sufi, is the stage persona for the internationally recognized artist, Enrique Ugalde. Soriah’s craft is a blending of traditional Khöömei (Tuvan Throat Singing), tempered with Soriah’s own visceral force. Performances vary from being steeped in tradition and bound to its constructs to more experimental fascinations with electronic and acoustic accompaniments, and introducing Butoh and Ritual Performance Art. Soriah’s use of Khöömei as a transportive medium is an offering to nature in her own tongue, that of organic sound whether it be wind, water or the mimicry of animals. He is currently working to integrate his work into film and sound design.
Soriah takes an annual sabbatical to Tuva to study with various masters and to compete. The 2008 Fifth Quinquennial Ethnomusicology Symposium, “Khöömei: The Cultural Phenomenon of Central Asia”, has honored Enrique Ugalde, “Third Place”, the highest a non-native to Tuva has yet placed. The Üstüü-Khüree Festival awarded him “Best Foreigner” for their 2008 selection. In 2014, he won 2nd place in the Tuvan National Kargyraa Competition. The rest of the year Soriah travels the globe with extended tours performing in various cities and enclaves of Japan, crooning in the cathedrals and ruins of Mexico, and intoning in ocean caves and amidst the swamplands of America. The artist has been invited to perform at society events such as The 2009 Peace Ball in Washington, D.C. for Obama’s inauguration, and by brigand artist elites, to sing at various installations of note at the Burning Man Festival.
One becomes encased in an awe-laced ceremonial pallor while in attendance at a Soriah performance. A deep spiritualism imbues each piece performed, whether entirely traditional or exhibiting a fusion of music, movement and meditation that Soriah describes as Vocalized Ritual Drone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MarchFourth Trail Mix Ep. 60 "Main Stage @ Oregon Country Fair"

MarchFourth video diary from the road. The band rocks the Main Stage at the Oregon Country Fair with "Janjar".
More info on tour dates, go to
Video by Diggable Monkey

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lana Wirges Massage

Lana offers a fusion of massage techniques to ensure a unique massage experience for each client.
More info @

Video by Diggable Monkey

Love Gigantic Live @ Sellwood Park - "No Good As A Memory"

Love Gigantic performs to a huge audience at Sellwood Park for Portland's 'Concerts in the Park' summer series.
Photos by Dan Herrick 
Video by Diggable Monkey

Beats Antique @ Oregon Country Fair - Tommy Cappel is "Jumpin'"

Tommy Cappel rips through the drum parts on "Jumpin", a swinging number off the new Beats Antique record, A Thousand Faces. More Beats Antique here:

Video by Diggable Monkey

MarchFourth Marching Band @ Oregon Country Fair 2014 - "Magic Number"

MarchFourth Marching Band guitarist Jon VanCura rocks the guitar on the main stage at the 2014 Oregon Country Fair. More on M4 here:

Video by Diggable Monkey

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beats Antique @ Oregon Country Fair: Zoe Jakes Snake & Feather Dance

I've had a fortunate opportunity to work closely with Zoe Jakes doing video production at Datura, a Portland-based belly dance studio run by Rachel Brice and Sol Crawford. From time to time, the MarchFourth Marching Band's tour schedule synchs up with Beats Antique and we'll end up at the same gig - often on the same stage and periodically right next to their playing time. The Oregon Country Fair last weekend was yet another one of those occasions! Here's what I saw...   

Saturday, July 5, 2014

BURNING MAN: ART ON FIRE - Books for Burners

Every August, tens of thousands of participants gather to celebrate artistic expression in Nevada's barren Black Rock Desert. This vastly inhospitable location, called the playa, is the site of Burning Man, where, within a 9-mile fence, artists called Burners create a temporary city devoted to art and participation. Braving extreme elements, over two hundred wildly ambitious works of art are created and intended to delight, provoke, involve, or amaze.
For more info about the book, Burning Man: Art on Fire:
In 2013, over 68,000 people attended - the highest number ever allowed on the playa. As Burning Man has created new context, new categories of art have emerged since its inception, including Art to Ride, Collaborative Art, and of course, Art to Burn. Burning Man: Art on Fire is an authorized collection of some of the most stunning examples of Burning Man art. Experience the amazing sculptures, art, stories, and interviews from the world's greatest gathering of artists. Get lost in a rich gallery of images showcasing the best examples of playa art with over 200 photos. Interviews with the artists reveal not only their motivation to create art specifically for Burning Man, but they also illuminate the dramatic efforts it took to create their pieces. Featuring the incredible photography of long-time Burning Man photographers, Sidney Erthal and Scott London, an introduction from Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, and a foreword from Will Chase, this stunning gift book allows Burners and enthusiasts alike to have a piece of Burning Man with them all year around.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Ritz Story Pole Project @ Oregon Country Fair

It's all about the Flamingo Clan, a community of artists, crafts-persons and others who built Ritz Sauna & Showers
 over 38 years ago and continue to this day to provide a magical experience to vendors, staff, entertainers, and guests each year at the Oregon Country Fair !

This is the 3rd year we have engaged the community in carving the Pole. Many people (carvers, painters, metal workers, amateurs and professionals) have left their mark on the Pole.  According to tradition, everyone who contributes to making the Pole becomes part of the story. It took 3 years and the approval of First Nations and the Canadian Provincial Government of British Columbia to select, acquire, and ship the sustainably harvested 8,000 lb, 36’ Alaskan Yellow Cedar log to the site of the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, Oregon.
Please join us in finishing and raising the Pole and make it your story too! The Pole will be raised during the Solstice in June 2015 followed by a grand celebration and feast.
Please support the Ritz Sauna and Showers Story Pole Campaign. Watch the video below: