The sun sets in the Queen City of the South and Fuente Osmena Circle slowly illuminates with city lights. Pedestrians hasten their paces to designated jeepney stops on this Cebu City's rush hour. Everyone double takes when they hear the amplified guitar sound from a corner."Sound check!" says a voice over a microphone. He adjusts his in-ear monitor and sets his looper pedal. Guitar gig bag laid open in the pavement. A propped up cardboard with a handwritten signe "#CebuBusker" is made visible by the warm light produced by a battery operated LED lamp. Dane Smith starts to sing. You just couldn't help to stop for a moment to listen.
Turtulele: How long have you been busking?
Dane: It's gonna be 2 years this November.
T: We've noticed that you're the only busker in who's geared up-- an amp with a stand, 2 quality microphones on a customized stand, a looper pedal and an in-ear monitor. What inspired you to level up busking in Cebu City?
D: I just thought about it years ago since it's not really a popular thing to do in Cebu. I started from scratch. Just my guitar and my singing. Playing with no amplification was really a challenge that's why I made a promise to myself that if I'm making noise in the streets, might as well do it with good sounding gears for the people to appreciate.
T: Wow, that’s really inspiring. Aside from guitar, what other instruments do you play?
D: I play the ukulele, harmonica, kazoo and different types of percussion instruments.
T: How often do you play the ukulele?
D: I rarely play it on gigs but I always spend time with it. I play 30-45 mins. a day since I have one on standby in the office, and one in my room.
T: How many ukuleles do you have?
D: I have 4 :)
T: 4! That's awesome! I’m sure you have a Turtulele.
T: What's your favorite Turtulele design?
D: Any flower-y designs on top of the white finish looks awesome.
T: That's our Island Collection!
One last thing. What's the best thing being a Cebu Busker?
D: It's the surprise you give to the people who thought we don't have "this" in our city. Cebu can surely have it. I hope that other musicians would have the courage to do it as well.
T: Thank you so much Dane for your time. You are truly an amazing artist! We hope that you continue to inspire other artists and that your passion for music be heard by more people.