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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Back to Bach

This is the cello that occupied the right side of the stage of the PhilAmLife Theatre last Sunday. It is two centuries old. Antique. Ancient. But it can still produce music.

The cello gave a visual prelude to what we were about to witness that night. As the hall lights started to dim, the old cello became more resplendent. Then the cellists came. I soon found myself in a musical journey from the Baroque period of the late 1600s to the high romantics of the 19th century. After the intermission, it was heavy metal music -- only, the finer sound of eighteen cellos played in lieu of electric guitars. It was Bach to Metallica indeed.

It has been quite a while since I last attended a concert like this. For several years I had access to almost all of Manila's classical concerts, plays, and musicals. I even remember watching Lea Salonga in the musical Miss Saigon at the CCP Main Theatre -- one orchestra center ticket costs P4,000 and I got it for free! All these I took for granted.

Soon I left the station, and became busy with other things such as free trips to Negros Oriental (hehe), graduate studies, work and gimiks. My classmates exposed me to the more boisterous music such as Rock, Reggae and House. I would genuinely enjoy the beat for a few minutes. Then I would try to look for a finer tune -- a more meaningful and deeper sound beyond the beat of drums of the rhythm of electric guitars. Finding none, I switch to jazz and crossover music -- having temporarily forgotten that there is such a thing as classical music.

My recent assignment for the October issue of Enterprise Magazine brought me back to the old hang-outs with old friends, discussing long-forgotten topics such as orchestras and classical artists and the station. Then I found myself in a familiar place, listening to a familiar tune. Thanks to Martin who so generously gave me orchestra center seats to this concert he so creatively organized, and to Deo who obliged to take photos when I cannot (yes, he took these photos -- his digital SLR captured more beautifully the color and action that my point-and-shoot cannot) -- and most of all to Sir Bombing (if not for him, I would not have had this assignment) -- I found myself once again indulging in two things that have deprived myself of for years: listening to classical music, and writing about it.

It does feel good to be Bach... i mean, back. =) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thinking of Seven

Due to insistent popular demand (okay, it's just Pastor Bong and Beng who asked me to do this)... here are my sevens...

Seven things that scare me
1. "A cage. To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them."
2. Snakes and sharks and any animal that bites! (even mosquitos)
3. All kinds of diseases
4. Being the center of attention (I have stage fright)
5. “totally blind” dates (going out with a total stranger freaks me out)
6. The End of the World (that’s why I want to be “Raptured”)
7. “Divine Discipline” (it can be quite painful, you know)

Seven things I like the most
1. Enjoyable conversations
2. Inspiring words (from movies, books, sermons or a simple chat)
3. The Great Outdoors
4. Relaxing Music
5. Smiles of people
6. Water (to drink, to take a bath in, the swim in, to relax in)
7. Chocolate (specially the ones with a tinge of alcohol, hehehe)

Seven important things in my room
1. The Window! (wishing it had a great view)
2. Cotton or Wool Blanket
3. Two Pillows
4. My Bible
5. My Journal and its bookmark
6. Closet Full of Clothes
7. House slippers

Seven random facts about me
1. Most people have wrong first impressions about me
2. I have eyeglasses that I don’t wear (unless my eyes are strained)
3. I can be a tour guide in Negros Oriental though I’m not a native
4. I modeled for a fashion brochure when I was five years old
5. I've a gazillion nicknames (invented by my friends)
6. I’m a published photojournalist! (hehe, proud ba)
7. I firmly believe that God answers all our prayers

Seven things I plan to do before I die
1. Dive at Apo Island
2. Visit Europe
3. Write my autobiography (even if it doesn’t get published)
4. Own a top-of-the-line digital SLR
5. Make a difference in the lives of my relatives & friends
6. Get a life insurance
7. Find true love (hehehe, mushy!)

Seven things I can do
1. Chat for hours (well, actually it depends who I am chatting with)
2. Write and take pictures
3. Swim (though I get scared when it gets around 10 feet deep)
4. Recite some lines from the LOTR movies
5. Cook a few edible meals (Wana share to me your recipes? hehe)
6. See humor in the most mundane things
7. Listen.

Seven things I can’t do
1. Wear 4-inch stilettos (I’d trip!)
2. Be totally comprehensible at half past midnight
3. Read my MBA books from cover to cover (even if it were required)
4. Sing in front of people (I can sing in the bathroom though)
5. Be on Fear Factor (I can’t do what they do)
6. Solve complex mathematical problems
7. Solve people’s problems (I can only listen and give advice)

Seven things that attract me to the opposite sex
1. Intelligence
2. Good-natured humor
3. Strong values and rock-solid principles
4. Mga Talentado!
5. Voice (baritone sounds good, hehe)
6. Smile (who wants a frown, anyway?)
7. Fashionable eyeglasses
(I don’t know why, but I find them attractive, hehe)

Seven things I say the most
1. Hahahahaha
2. Hehehehe
3. Ngyak
4. Yikes
5. Haller
6. Hala
7. Yeah right

Seven celebrity crushes
1. Jim Elliot (it’s his passion)
2. Aragorn (it’s his rugged charm)
3. Will Smith (he is so fun and witty)
4. Hugh Grant (it’s the boyish yet cultured countenance)
5. Prince William (It’s his royal title)
6. Gary V (the voice!)
7. Sam Milby (cute sya eh, hehe)

Seven People I Want To Take This Quiz
People who haven’t taken it yet…
1. Rick
2. Macoy
3. Christine
4. Joni
5. Grace
6. Liezl
7. Doms

Monday, August 15, 2005

Trip to Reality

I had long postponed this trip. Not because I found the city less beautiful than the others. I actually have loved this city since childhood. Most of my summer vacations were spent here enjoying the countryside scenes and the company of my cousins. But lately, I have been afraid to go back. Afraid of the changes I shall see. Not of the city streets and sceneries – they have remained largely the same over the years – but changes I will see in people.

As I child, my heart would jump everytime I hear the word “Cavite.” It means that I will again pay a visit to my lola’s house. That I will have a taste of her delicious tinola, her crunchy fried chicken and her mouth-watering cordon. That I will play with my cousins at the well, where we douse each other with its cold water then hear our lola’s loud voice telling us to stop all our mischief. At night, we stay at her sala, hiding from the bats that come out after dark, and just listen to stories of her youth – of how she loved playing the piano, how she enjoyed fiestas and won for herself a beauty queen title in their barangay.

That was then. Now there is a stark change in the image I see. The hands that once nimbly glided through the piano keyboard now cannot even hold a spoon to feed herself. The voice that strongly but lovingly scolded us for all our mischief has grown faint. The youth in Barangay San Antonio’s former beauty queen seems to have vanished, and turned into a thin and frail figure lying on a bed all day.

Sometimes reality strikes hard at you. I shiver at the thought that many years ago, this woman was once like me – attending parties, developing her talents, joining competitions -- experiencing all that life has to offer, only to come to a point of total dependence on the people around her. More so at the thought that I, too, may come to a point in my life when my eyes will no longer feast on the magnificence of the sunrise or on the smiles of my loved ones; when my feet will not anymore take me trekking up mountainslopes, or down the street toward a friend's house; when my hands can no longer play the piano or sketch a picture or write a poem.

I have long denied this reality. A lot of us do. We live our lives as if there is no tomorrow. As if none of us will ever grow old. As if time will stand still for us. Well, it never did. And it never will. Each tick of the clock brings us closer to the reality that we all must face: our mortality.

But despite the weakening of her body, I noticed my lola still had the spark and the spirit she always possessed throughout the years. Her eyes, no matter how weak they have grown, still sparkled when she hears our voice calling her name. Her smile, which would have won her the beauty title in her teenage years, is even more beautiful at this age, for with it comes the many joyful days she spent with her children, and her children’s children. And her soft voice can still utter the usual wit and sarcasm that is typical of lola, eliciting tons of laughter from those around her.

I’m glad I made that trip. Though I had to face that harsh reality about our humanity, I also encountered one glorious truth: that beyond the frailty of our bodies, is an eternal spirit. I had a glimpse of that spirit in my lola. Indeed, there is promise of eternity. And on that promise I rest.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time,
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done
from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Monday, August 01, 2005


There was a time when I came across this question: "If you had the time and the money to do whatever you wanted, how would you be living your life right now?" The first thing that came to mind was: "I'd be a travel writer and photojournalist... I'd travel to places, delight in the beauty of nature, enjoy the richness of the culture; then preserve the images my eyes can see in pictures, and the impressions my mind can make in words."

That's one of the reason why I keep my own writer's blogck and my photo blogck -- I guess it's an outlet of two things I've always loved doing: writing and photography. So you can't really blame a girl for raving about this article published in the August 2005 issue of Enterprise Magazine, can you?

Just check out the name of the writer and photographer, if you want to know what i mean. ;)

Now don't those photos look familiar? Click on the images if you want a closer look at the article... or if you want to see it for real, go buy a copy at your nearest magazine stand. ;) . Posted by Picasa