Torch of Davao

photo by Bapi Rivera

His name nowadays is synonymous with parties, DJ Torch Gacuma is currently in the thick of Davao’s rejuvenated party scene.

“Dabawenyo party goers are the best, We are all hungry here for parties since we have rules whenever there are events Dabawenyos really go and party like there is no tomorrow.” DJ Torch describes the current local club movement.

Torch spent his elementary years in the Immaculate Conception College (now University of Immaculate Conception), by high school he went to Holy Child and took up a Hotel and Restaurant Management course in Philippine Women’s College.

photo courtesy of Manic Nightnings Productions

“I was already in love with music since elementary, in high school a friend of mine taught me how to spin music using the two turntables and a mixer.” Torch recalls his beginnings.

From a mere hobby, Torch or Tura to close friends took his love for spinning music seriously and became a professional DJ in 2006.

“It was Jingle Lanzona aka DJ Keelo, Mikey Aportadera and Patricia Joven to name a few who introduced and opened the doors for me to Davao’s club scene.” Torch reminisces his pro DJ’s early days.

His first club residency was at the defunct Liquid in Apo View Hotel (now the present Entrée) this was followed by residencies in Pops, Metro Lounge and Starr. Torch said he tried his best to learn from DJs to further his craft and this “education” is still continuing.

Among his mentors included Dj Marlon Tagalicud of Wave Manila, DJ Karl Ty of Superfly Manila and Mon Maramba, DJs Yancy Moncatar and Pong Orquillas helped guide Torch’s early years.

In his gigs Torch plays House music, mainstream hits, Top 40s and EDMs or electronic dance music.

Torch applies HRMesque analogy to his craft; “DJs are like restaurant chefs with the DJ booth as the kitchen, songs are the ingredients and the clubs are our restaurants, they may use the same ingredients but they all cook differently.”

For him what makes his gigs unique is the choice of materials and versions he uses, he tries to read the crowd and from there he cooks up his wicked concoctions of party music. A formula which makes him one of the favorite DJs around metro Davao.

He recalls doing an opening act for international house artist Bonnie Bailey during her Davao gig in 2011. “It was like a dream come true for me.”

Currently he is a DJ talent under Manic Nightnings Productions owned by his manager Kat Dalisay. Being under Manic Nightnings has afforded DJ Torch an opportunity to participate in Davao’s biggest club events in recent years.

Hamming it up with party-goers

with his manager Kat Dalisay

Among these included the massively successful Carte Blanche which was attended by about 10,300 partygoers and considered as one of the biggest EDM festivals in the country.

He also played in events such as Soul Sensations, Liberalia, Spectra and Reverie which were organized by Manic Nightnings. He also had the chance to go to Mati for Summerfrolic, a beachside EDM event. 

Torch says these events gave him the chance to work with the country’s top DJs, producers and remixers like Ace Ramos Funk Avy, Ron Poe, Deuce Manila, Katsy Lee, Surf The Topless DJ, Clyde Harris, X Factor Remix, Nina Saputil, The Zombettes.

with fellow Manic Nightning DJ Wacky and Republiq Club's Ace Ramos

His current favorite tracks include those from artists such as Alesso, Showteck, Avici, Martin Garrix, DVBBS, Hardwell, Dmitri Vegas, Zedd, Krwella.

Describing Davao’s party scene changing taste in music and trends, Torch says “People now are more open to different styles of dance music, which is very good. The lifestyle of people now have evolved too, they are more open to new things unlike before where people would only stick to what they know and comfortable to.”

As with the entry of new Dabawenyo DJs, Torch sums up his advice.

“Understand the craft, master it... aim high and follow your dreams... Once you're there, never forget where you came from and the most important of all "STAY HUMBLE" always keep both feet on the ground ... And for sure you'll be having a good ride”

photo courtesy of Manic Nightnings Productions


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