Category Archives: Music

Only Music Can Understand


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Madonna was right.

“Music makes the people come together.”

An unspoken bond – a link – was connected between me and my cousin late last night on to the early part of this morning (around 11PM to 1AM to be approximate). It may not have been something new in the atmosphere but it was a fresh and raw exchange of energy. Something that is akin to a teacher-learner interaction.

I taught her chords and basic plucking; she -in her quest for the songs she wanted to play – taught me new chords and a new plucking pattern. The desire to learn and the willingness to teach was as palpable as the guitar strings in our hands.

Quite a new experience for me. Knowing that my cousins are usually scared, shy, or intimidated by me and have one of those cousins slowly open up to me all because of a transfer of learning if you may… Of music.

Music-playing


The pull on my heartstrings as I listen to music suddenly compels me to play the guitar – the only musical instrument that I am able to finish a song with.

I’m no good at it but thankfully I can carry a tune with a few songs just within my range. I guess it’s much easier now to practice and play sheet music compared when I was still learning. And the fact that some old songs have been revived in simpler chords. New songs too have various versions that are easily accessible.

Nostalgia grips me at times as I strum the chords, pluck guitar strings, and use my dad’s guitar pick. Like I’m transported back to Sunday jamming sessions with him and learning complicated bass chords to add pizzaz to my music. I wonder if he’ll be proud of me now or would his endearing musical perfectionism would once again strike.

I miss you Dad.

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A Revisited Love Affair


Piano

Piano (Photo credit: esc861)

I love music.

 

Music has been a big part of my life ever since I can remember.  Way, way back when I was much younger, Mom would bring me along to church and let me join activities that allowed kids to showcase their talents.  I remember having a recorded cassette tape of my singing (thankfully, it got lost!) when I was just about 5 or 6 years old.  My parents kept on pushing me to take up lessons in playing the piano which I never took seriously.  I wanted to be like my dad who was a “oido” player of many musical instruments (name it, he could play it.  A literal one-man band).

 

I never had any formal education or training with music (in all of it’s forms).  I always believed that as long as you love something, all else will fall into place.  I kept a mediocre pace in my so-called craft.  Assuming that my “innate” talents would manifest at one time or another and people would be awestruck by my genius.  I rebelled my parents goading, and only halfheartedly attended my piano lessons and preferring to take it slow, thinking my knowledge and acquired skills where enough to pass off as G-R-E-A-T and that music was perfect for me.

 

Little did I know that I was far too blinded with my puppy love with music.  Becoming surrounded by people who have mastered playing their respective musical instruments; friends who’ve had actual stage time in singing live in front of a large audience; and classmates/acquaintances who were either part of a choir, a singing group, a band and could carry a tune in their own style left me jealous, ashamed, and unworthy.  It felt like being “friendzoned”.  A bit out of place.  The realization of being ORDINARY and not special was stinging.  I fancied myself busy with admiring music on a safe distance.  Collecting copies of the music I listen too, the occasional unleashing-of-my-innermost-demons-through-karaoke-singing, and having my dad show off his skills before.

 

When my dad died, I tried so hard to reconnect through music… always playing the piano (with one music piece I never got to finish), playing guitar and trying out complicated styles.  I flooded myself with various music sheets, simple tab chords to learn, but I never could get to that high.  I’ve lost my chances.  Just like love (and life), you need to work – HARD – to get what you want.  Having the passion to go after it is just the icing on the cake.

 

The facts of life humbles you.  You can never get it all.  I’ve made peace with my musical demons.  I still LOVE music.  But I give it a high regard knowing that I know my limits.  If people see that what I have is talent, then I am honored by such a thought.

 

Earlier at work, my colleague and I were ambushed into singing.  Thankfully, she was a better singer than I was and I just hoped I didn’t humiliate her by my amateur ability.  And just recently as well, I seem to find myself being part of a choir (again!  My experience with such a vocation was years ago.)  I kept feeling out of place!  My colleagues were there but being shoved into a part you’ve long forgotten can be quite daunting.

 

Choir practice was bittersweet.  My desire to sing was warring with my inadequacy with it.  Those around me were naturals.  I felt like a stranger… awkward.  Seeing how amazingly good the other choir members were, I realized how much I miss my dad.  It’s almost two years since he passed and still I wish that he would always be there when I get home and give out his annoying advise in “singing through your diaphragm” spiel and urging me on (and correcting my singing).  Bothersome but part of our repertoire.  It was always a treat to see my dad perform.  I could never rival with my dad’s passion for music.  But it was a connection that made us bond without even talking.

I never fully appreciated how much music means to me until recently.  Perhaps it comes with the territory of coming to terms with the things you need to keep, and the ones you need to let go but still be happy about it.  I’m happy in being able to carry a tune, play certain music instruments in the most basic of ways, become good friends to those who mastered their skills and proudly cheer them on.  Thus, each song I sing (or listen) will be a symphony of tribute in true appreciation to those who journeyed (and will continue journeying) with me in my love affair with music.

 

Twilight Run: A Freaky/Fun 5K Run


My body from the small of my back to the toes of my feet are still aching from last night’s Freaky 5K Halloween Night Run or was tagged as Twilight Run.  It’s been more than a month since I’ve last joined a Fun Run event and basing from my last month’s record, I was a bit doubtful of my performance.  Basketball season for me is over (in the sense that our team lost in the prelim games) and I’m not getting any practice and exercise.  So getting back to running was an opportunity for me to stay (at the least!) in shape.

The Twilight Run was a fixed 5K Fun Run event and a special 5oom foot race for the kiddies which was Halloween-inspired wherein you dress-up (whether young or old).  It was also a night run (the 2nd night run I’ve been in).  In short, the givens were all to my advantage.  Well… except for the dressing up thing.  And the best part?  All finishers get to receive a medal.

The Event Flyer

After registering a week [or so] before the race, I was all set.  It was my bff Raisa who wasn’t able to register earlier on.  Luckily, they still accepted registrations on the race date.

Evidence!

Pre-Race Activities

Due to a slight drizzle, the event had a little delay.  After all, it wouldn’t be good for the kiddies to go running in the rain.  Parents would have a fit.  So what better way to spend the time to take wacky photos and fun shots.  Since bff brought her handy-dandy camera, off we went (along with a few of her officemates) to take a few snaps of ourselves while waiting.  Observe exhibits below:

bff and me (after getting HER OWN singlet)

Uhh... yeah.. LOL

bff's officemates aka running addicts

Afterwards, the EMCEE’s started announcing reminders, greets, and pre-race instructions.  There were a couple of things that bothered me though.  1. Raffles.  If they planned on stationing their drop box at the baggage counter, they should have placed signages and instructions to their personnel to collect the entries BEFORE or DURING the time that participants were depositing their stuff at the counter.  2. Glow Sticks.  If they planned on handing these out as the runner’s early warning device for safety, organizers could have included these items in the race kit, or while the runners were still loafing around they could’ve announced that participants claim their glow sticks at the BAGGAGE COUNTER in order to avoid congestion at while distributing them.  And 3. Start/Finish Line.  If possible, during their next organized Fun Run event, a Marshall should be stationed at the starting line to inform runners where to face.  Just imagine our preliminary confusion when we started lining up facing East when we should’ve been facing South.  Sheesh!

Well, that’s off my chest.

Before gun start, the EMCEE’s announced that runners will be categorized into 4 kinds of runners.  The Vampires, The Werewolves, The Ghosts, and The Zombies.  The Vampires are those that would finish the race in less than 2o minutes.  The Werewolves – 20 to 25 minutes.  The Ghosts – 25 to 30 minutes.  As for the Zombies – 30 minutes and up.  Well I guess I know where I belong!  LOL.   We also had a “unique” stretching exercise.  Dancing to the beat of Ghostbuster’s TV Theme (my birth theme song! refer to this post here), then to MJ’s Thriller.

Gun fire was at around 5:57pm on my iPod.  I kept on monitoring my pace though.  So after 10 minutes of nonstop running, I could feel the stress on my leg muscles so I slowed it down into a jog-walk for 20 minutes (that made me a Zombie runner by this race’s standards already).  Afterwards, the battery of my iPod died so I ended up using my phone as basis alternating between jogging-walking-running-brisk-walking.  I made a personal record though.  When I could view the finish line, the elapsed time flashing on the screen was 47 minutes and something seconds.  Yes!  A new record!  Pay-off for my sore leg muscles!

A New Record!

Zombies and Proud of it!

My 1st Fun Run Medal!

I LOOOOOVEEE the design of the medal!  Haha!  Ok, I know.  It’s just a medal and everybody got one.  But still!  I got to have one!  A satisfying award for something you’ve put great effort in!  The kid in me still yearns for gold stars too you know.  Haha!

The After Party

Did I mention that there was an after party?  Well if I didn’t you’d still get the FYI from the flyer I posted.

I’m not keen on joining parties.  But I just felt good about the whole event that I wanted to savor the aura.  The weather was getting better as the night kept on.  Just perfect in soothing my aching muscles.  I was looking forward as well to one particular band who was going to perform (the main reason why I wanted to stay because I saw the band as the runners were still gathering).  So rather than my initial plan in going on a mall-walk after the run, I was more eager to go on a music trip instead.  At least I got to sit down!

Items were being raffled off in between the 3 bands playing.  I didn’t get the name of the 1st band though.  The 2nd one was Utopia or Eutopia.  And the 3rd (the one I was eager to catch) – The Baby Boomers Band!

I’ve posted a few video clips at my YouTube Channel of the after party fun for you to catch a glimpse of.  And I’m also posting a few here for all of you.

I’ve always been fascinated with Poi Dancers and the more ostentatious ones – the Fire Dancers.  So just imagine how amazed I was when I saw THESE guys (yes, they’re from Davao) – The Apo Dujali Drum Beaters!  I hope I got their name right!

One word kept popping into my mind.  Hypnotic.  Their movements, the fire, and the chanting was powerful.  I’ve got a few more clips of their presentation here.

And to cap of the night’s festivities, here are the clips I recorded for your entertainment.

Ahh… to be young and have great talent…  I tell you, seeing these guys on stage and feel the raw energy of their music exuding from them, you can’t help not to twist ‘n shout wishing you were 17 again.  They feel their music and project it with their talents.

On a side note: I first saw these guys perform a few months ago in Matina Town Square (MTS) in Taboan.  It was only last night that I got to catch them live in action again.  And as before, they were simply AMAZING.  You couldn’t help but be in awe of their talent.  Really good music and great as performers too!  They remind me of my dad, his band-playing days, his favorite type of music, and the music we used to jam to during Sunday mornings (with Dad covering the tough parts though).

Sorry blog buddies if they’re only clips (and incomplete ones).  I only had a point and shoot camera and I was watching my things and at the same time recording.  Anyway, if you want to catch up on more information with Baby Boomers Band, here’s their Facebook page.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing  more of their gigs soon!

In my book, the Twilight Run was an overall success!  Congratulations to NextLevel Media, Inc. on a job well done.  Till next race!

A Winnie The Pooh Flashback


Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends debuted on NBC...

Image via Wikipedia

So I was just browsing my page when I caught the post title of blog buddy Eliz.  I checked it out and I was transported to my high school days, spending time with my friends sharing laughter and good vibes.  So please check out her blog here.

To show my gratitude, I’m sharing the lyrics of one particular song that ran through my mind while reading her post.   I got the lyrics from this site.

(Too bad though I couldn’t upload the music).

Return to Pooh Corner
Kenny Loggins and Amy Grant

Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon

But I’ve wandered much further today than I should
And I can’t seem to find my way back to the wood

So help me if you can, I’ve got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You’d be surprised, there’s so much to be done

Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

Winnie the Pooh doesn’t know what to do
Got a honey jar stuck on his nose
He came to me asking help and advice
From here no one knows where he goes

So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he’s there
How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear

Help me if you can, I’ve got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You’d be surprised, there’s so much to be done

Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

It’s hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all’s said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side

So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered, “Boy, welcome home”

Believe me if you can, I’ve finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know, there’s so much to be done

Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the ways of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh

——

Hope you enjoyed it!

Band Album Cover


I grew up well-exposed to music from a bystander’s perspective.  My dad was a great musician who’s glory days were during his teenage and early adult life.  I doubt if he ever got an actual album with his group but he rubbed elbows with a few young artists in the Philippines like Freestyle and one member of South Border.

I remember times when he would prod me in forming my own band.  Who knows, with my “talent” I’d be catapulted to music stardom.  Wishful thinking!  Hahaha!  And I was too complacent to get serious with my music studies, and self-teaching.  One thing I can take pride in is my ability to carry a decent tune. 🙂  But more than less, I have a great affinity with music.

I was reading an article from one of my favorite blogs (You can check his blog here).  It shares a fun way in creating your own Band Album cover.  So if you’ve ever played with the thought of  how your band’s album would be, here’s one way to go about it:

1. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page and click on “Random Article”. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2. Go to http://quotationspage.com/ and click on “Random Quotes”. The last few words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3. Go to http://www.flickr.com/explore/ and click on “Interesting photos from the last seven days”. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. And in case you decide to post the final product, even if we’re just doing this for fun, don’t forget to acknowledge whoever owns the original image!
4. Use Photoshop (or any photo editor program you’re comfortable using)to put it all together.
5. And presto!  You’ve just created your band’s CD album cover!

Here’s what I got:

My Band Name: Diesel Particulate Filter or DPF (Sweet!  It’s got its own short name already!)  Check out it’s definition via wikipedia.

Album Name: Unforgivable Quality to the Unsure (A part of the quote from Bette Davis in the Lonely Life.

Album Picture was from Valerie Roi.  Check out the full picture here.

What’s your band name and album cover? 🙂

The Saltwater Room


Been feeling stressed out lately.  Good thing I have music to turn to during these times.  One particular song I enjoy listening to is The Saltwater Room by Owl City.  There’s something about the song’s arrangement that just soothes my frazzled nerves.  Thanks to Adam Young for creating Owl City.

The Saltwater Room
Owl City

I opened my eyes
last night and saw you in the low light
Walking down by the bay, on the shore, staring up at the planes that aren’t there anymore
I was feeling the night grow old and you were looking so cold
Like an introvert, I drew my over shirt
Around my arms and began to shiver violently before
You happened to look and see the tunnels all around me
Running into the dark underground
All the subways around create a great sound
To my motion fatigue: farewell
With your ear to a seashell
You can hear the waves in underwater caves
As if you actually were inside a saltwater room

Time together is just never quite enough
When you and I are alone, I’ve never felt so at home
What will it take to make or break this hint of love?
We need time, only time
When we’re apart whatever are you thinking of?
If this is what I call home, why does it feel so alone?
So tell me darling, do you wish we’d fall in love?
All the time, all the time

Can you believe that the crew has gone and wouldn’t let me sign on?
All my islands have sunk in the deep, so I can hardly relax or even oversleep
I feel as if I were home some nights when we count all the ship lights
I guess I’ll never know why sparrows love the snow
We’ll turn off all of the lights and set this ballroom aglow

Time together is just never quite enough
When you and I are alone, I’ve never felt so at home
What will it take to make or break this hint of love?
We need time, only time
When we’re apart whatever are you thinking of?
If this is what I call home, why does it feel so alone?
So tell me darling, do you wish we’d fall in love?
All the time, all the time

Sheet Music


I was looking for some music files over the net to get me started in returning to a forgotten love – music playing.  When I got to browse over the words SHEET MUSIC.  I’ve heard of this before and never really focused on what it meant until after the 1st episode of Glee‘s season 2.

So what is sheet music?

Wikipedia describes it as “hand-written or printed form of music notation that usesModern musical symbols; like its analogs—books, pamphlets, etc.—the medium of sheet music typically is paper (or, in earlier times, parchment), although the access to musical notation in recent years includes also presentation on computer screens“.

Wow.  So that’s what it meant.

Anyway, I got a smorgasborg of sheet music to whet my appetite.  Though there were some that I couldn’t find, it just needs time for deep-seated searching.  I’m planning on buying something to get me on in my music improvement.

So hope all goes well.  Wish me luck guys! 🙂

Sexy Naughty Bitchy


It’s one lazy November 1.  Or maybe it’s just me who’s lazy.

Anyway, I’m currently keeping in tune with this song by Tata Young from her I Believe album.

 

I Believe

 

Sexy Naughty Bitchy

Tata Young

I pick all my skirts to be a little too sexy
Just like all of my thoughts they always get a bit naughty
When I’m out with my girls I always play a bit bitchy
Can’t change the way I am sexy naughty bitchy me

Chorus:
I’m the kind of girl that girls don’t like
I’m the kind that boys fantasize
I’m the kind that your momma and your daddy were afraid you’d turn out to be like
I may seem unapproachable but that’s only to the boys who don’t have the
Right approach or ride that makes a girl like me wanna hop in and roll

People think it’s intimidating when a girl is cool with her sexuality I’m a 180 to the stereotype girls like staying home and being innocent

[Chorus]

My mouth never takes a holiday
I always shock with the things I say
I was always the kid in school who turned up to each class bout an hour late and when it came to the guys I’d lay, I’d always pick the ones who won’t figure out that I am clearly a rebel to the idea of monogamy

People think it’s intimidating when a girl is cool with her sexuality I’m a 180 to the stereotype girls like staying home and being innocent

[Chorus]

Sexy… naughty… bitchy…me

People think it’s intimidating when a girl is cool with her sexuality I’m a 180 to the stereotype girls like staying home and being innocent

[Chorus]

I like all of my shorts to be a little too shortly
Unlike all of my guys I like them tall with money
I love all of my nights to end a little bit nasty
Can’t change the way I am sexy naughty bitchy me

I pick my skirts to be sexy
Just like my thoughts a bit naughty
When I’m out with my girls …bitchy
Can’t change I am
Sexy naughty bitchy me

The Middle


One song that perks me up in days that make me feel down in the dumps.  The Middle by Jimmy Eat World in the album Bleed American.  I love playing this as well in Rockband.

Bleed American

The Middle

Jimmy Eat World

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).

Hey, you know they’re all the same.
You know you’re doing better on your own, so don’t buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).

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