This Fernandes JG originally belonged to Raimund Marasigan. I think he bought it when the Eraserheads toured Japan sometime in the ’90s, before recording Sticker Happy. I first saw him play it at a Sandwich show in Mayric’s in ‘98, and I instantly liked the way it looked. I also thought that if ever he would decide to sell it, I’d take it in a flash.
Since then I’ve had a few guitars, mostly Strats and Teles. By the time I was in Pedicab, I wasn’t really on the lookout for a new guitar, but then in 2006, Raimund offered to sell it to me for about P13K, and I could pay him whenever I could. So I took it. It was actually pretty battered by the time I got it. Raimund didn’t treat it well because he didn’t know that Fernandes was a good brand at the time.
I’ve always wanted a Jazzmaster, but I figured this JG was the next best thing to owning one. But I wasn’t too fond of the Sustainer pickup that was originally on it, so I replaced the stock pickups with a pair of Seymour Duncan SJM-1s and had them installed in exchange for the Sustainer pickup as my payment. When my guitarist friends found out I did that, they mostly disapproved, because some of them actually got to use this guitar in their recordings that Raimund produced or was involved in, like some of Ciudad’s albums. But I think it sounds much more to my liking now, and the new pickups make it look even better. I used it on about half of Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter, and recorded all of my parts on the new Kaya Mo Mag-Sando? EP with it.
The Sonic Youth sticker between the pickups was from a Sonic Youth tribute night some years ago. The promoter printed out stickers of album covers, and I hoarded quite a bit of them. The blue sticker with a black silhouette of a pick and an H is the logo of Hapipaks, the band in Quark Henares’ movie, Rakenrol. On the back are stickers of Muji, Vans, and Skull Candy. There’s another Skull Candy sticker on my other guitar, actually. I call them Skull One and Skull Two.
Right now, my only other guitar is a nice ‘72 Telecaster Custom reissue that I got from Francis Reyes in ‘08, but this has always been my go-to guitar for live and studio work, and all the wear-and-tear it has accumulated over the years is proof of that. I like that it’s unique to me in a way because of the modifications I had done. I’m not very sentimental with my gear, and I tend to dispose of an instrument if I have the opportunity to acquire a better one. But I probably won’t ever sell this guitar. Unless, of course, I get too broke after spending for an actual Jazzmaster. It reacts just the way it’s supposed to for me, and it has so much history, parang may kaluluwa talaga siya.
Write-up by Jason Caballa, June 2012