Rest in Power, Papa Dom
A eulogy for Dominic "Papa Dom" Gamboa
It was yesterday when social media sites gave an orbituary about the death of Dominic Gamboa, also known by its fans as Papa Dom of Tropical Depression.
Died by unknown causes, Papa Dom had been known for his music and his love of animals, especially those of exotic ones in his private zoo. His reggae music invoked mostly those of Peace and Love, getting everyone "chill" if not "rebellious" such as his earlier punk rock music whom he also took part and contributed with.
A simple person despite his popularity
Personally, he seemed to be a good and simple person instead of a popular singer if one ought to sought him, that somehow made this writer had met and took a picture with him as well; he seemed to be quite chill and simple like any other person having a window shopping at a low-class shop like Cartimar Recto. The good thing was that this writer's friend, an owner of a shop known for old collectibles, LPs and Casette tapes, happend to be a part of Papa Dom's circle, and it was a pleasure for he to present Papa Dom not just to this writer, but to everyone around the shop.
He's somehow quite okay to talk, even abit with him as a person, that he was fine with his music and his love for animals; he even sought the jackets the cooperative had made and much likely to have a personalized one such as the Green, Yellow, Red letterman jacket! The owner and others even willing to create a jacket especially for him, but Papa Dom instead smiled at everyone around the shop whose owner happened to be his friend.
"I tried but I couldn't really do it."
Obviously, with his appearance, Papa Dom had been synonymous by mainsteam media as part of the Rastafarian scene, especially that with his Reggae music and the Ethiopian colours associated with the Rastafarian movement made everyone consider as part of it. However, in an interview made years ago, he, as well as others had stated (according to a writeup made years ago) that there are no real Filipino Rastafarians except for a few serious adherents; and it happened that Reggae music had been a part of Rastafarianism whom the late Bob Marley advocated. It is true that Filipinos somehow tend to self-proclaim themselves as Rastafarians, that they done deadlocks, listening to Reggae and invoking words like "Jah" and the like, but Papa Dom said :
"I tried but I really couldn't do it."
Sorry for those who self-proclaim though, but according to an article, it stated that:
"All these people who are associated with reggae and rastafari movement all wanted one thing, and that is they don't want the people to forget what the true message and purpose of the music is which is peace, love and social action. So to the guy who sports a dreadlock and lights up a big spliff and think that Rastafarianism is a fashion statement think again don't pretend to be what you are not. Rastafari is cool a poser is not. If you wanna bun a one just be yourself and make sure to pass that kutchie."
In other words, a poseur is different from an adherent of the late Haile Selassie, even Haile Selassie himself had admired the movement (especially with a colony set up at Ethiopia), yet disagrees with their position (he even bought a Coptic priest for their spiritual guidance at Jamaica) . So was Papa Dom whom knowing that there were no Rastafarian adherents, only people equating the movement itself to a fashion trend of dreadlocks and Ethiopian colours.
"Rest in Power"
Well, since everyone had bid to say "Rest in Peace" after his death, for this writer? No! "Rest in Power" as he may say not because this writer is militant and had admired personages whose aspirations somehow made them "deathless"; and for sure most of the fans would somehow agree with this, that he is not dead, but instead alive and youthful to those who loved not just his music, but his interest such as peace, love and social action.
For sure few amongst the poseurs would understand the message rather than treating Rastafarianism as a fad. Papa Dom was right that he tried yet he can't make it, but his songs and his love for animals and fellowmen is a proof that he was different from those who afford to make dreadlocks and smoking weed.
Again, Rest in Power! You are alive and youthful to those who shared your life and struggle.