Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Family, Friends and Memories

It has become a sort of Christmas tradition of mine to send out a Christmas greeting to everyone I've met from around the world. Usually, a lot of emails bounce because either email accounts have been closed or their inboxes full (hopefully of Christmas & New Year messages like this one), but most get through, and it gives me great satisfaction to think that somewhere on the other parts of the world, a friend or family is reading my holiday greetings!

Sometimes a few reply with the fondest greetings and some even with photos. That's the coolest thing about it really: that even though we have not seen each other in years, and even if it is just once a year, we remember and smile for the memories. :D

A WARM MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR from me & my family!!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Seeing Stars


A couple of weeks ago, I had my eyes checked. Turns out, the contacts and the glasses I am using now are already obsolete for my requirements.

So I bought new contact lenses (which cost a fortune) and tried them out last Saturday.

That evening I went out to the balcony to look at the stars.
For the last few years, when I looked at the stars I saw them as blobs of overlapping double images. They didn't even twinkle.

But that night, I saw them again. For the first time in a long time. As stars, and not as blobs of white.

And then at that moment, it was worth every centavo.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's a Holiday?!?

I never thought I'd ever be this disappointed to hear about a new holiday...

Monday, December 8 is a holiday in the whole of Batangas Province.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Googling "UP Concert Chorus"

Last night I was Googling "UP Concert Chorus", more out of habit than anything else, and found my old blogsite on Xanga. My first post was on Saturday, March 27, 2004. Wow.

At the time I was, 22 and still in college (ha!), I was with Liz for 1 year, I was President of the UP Concert Chorus, and we were preparing for a 3 week tour of Germany, Italy and France scheduled later that year... We had performances left and right, twice a week rehearsals for the coming tour.

Going on tour with the UPCC was really the highlight of my college life. My first tour in 2000 was my first time (ever) to be away from home for more than a week. I was 18 (and young and innocent haha!) and when you're touring the world at that age, there's just so much to learn and so many things to see. You could say that my first tour really globalized my perception, it opened the world to me, literally!

My second tour in 2003 was my toughest but most exciting and most memorable of the three. First, because Liz and I had just gotten together a month before we left for the tour. They say the first few months are always the make or break period in any relationship, and yes it was difficult at times, but we made it through, and with a tighter relationship too. ;)

Second, I was UPCC Stage Manager and Soloist. It was not such a difficult job on tour since most places are already equipped with stages and lights, etc., (although there were times where we had to move altars and benches, and huge tables...) but I did manage to enjoy both, especially the latter one. Haha! Hey, after all, I am The Tenor. lol... (a private joke which came about during the time when a lot of UPCC Tenors left for the San Miguel Chorale and there were some shows where I was the ONLY tenor there, hence the title...)

My third and last tour, the 2004 tour was my most relaxed tour. Hehe. I was President of UPCC, and I was graduating the following year. It was a short 3-week tour during the semestral break, which means none of the homesick teenagers, and petty quarrels over nothing. We went to Bochum, Germany for the Acapella Festival where I got to sing "Ikaw Ang Lahat sa Akin" to this awesome audience (and I have a video!). We also went to Cascine San Pietro in Italy, where one of my dearest host families live, the Pizzocherros and the Sudatis. :D And finally we went to Paris. Yes, Paris. :D My only regret during the 2004 tour was that Liz couldn't go. :_(

Anyway, it's late and I better get to bed. I'll ramble more about it some other time. :p

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bohol Bohol

Bohol Bohol

Here are some photos from our trip to Bohol.

The weather was awesome when we arrived. It had been raining for a couple of weeks and the forecast was gloomy, but it was all sunshine and cirrus clouds when we arrived.

We had booked a PAL flight to Tagbilaran via this packaged tour promo, and the flight was scheduled really early in the morning. We had to be at the Centennial Airport at 6AM...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The American Elections

I've been trying to follow the US Elections and may I say, it has really been very interesting, thought provoking, and (at the risk of sounding too geeky) really exciting. Haha.

Here's two very different candidates for the US Presidential seat: one old and experienced Caucasian guy called John (you can't get a more common white American name than that!), and the other an African American, black newbie Senator whose name, formerly unknown in the greater US and the rest of the world, but is now one of the most recognizable names in US Presidentiables history: Barack.

So it's John McCain vs Barack Obama. (Osama! relation, just wanted to show how alike their names are, hehe!) I would personally vote for Barack, and apparently, so does majority of Americans (or at least the places where they do their polls). Obama has been leading in almost all the polls, be it online or otherwise. Although someone may argue that McCain's supporters are not exactly the crowd (or the generation?) that goes online and votes on polls. Obviously the younger Americans loves the younger candidate, but it's also Obama's "youth" and inexperience that they take against him.

And then there's the matter of the Vice President. If Obama is a Rockstar, then so Palin. Haha! If they win, she will probably NOT make a good VP in terms of skills and knowhow, but she will definitely capture the attention of the public.

Biden who?

I don't presume to know more than the average American Joe (or John) when I make this shamelessly unqualified prediction, that Barack will win. Despite the immense popularity of Palin, it's just not Palin vs Obama, it's the old guy vs Obama. And with a unique name like that, why wouldn't you vote for him?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bisperas ng Pasko

Yes I know it's only September. :p

I was checking the CCAFI Blog email when I saw a blog entry by UPCC alumnus and composer/arranger extraordinaire Manong Nhick Pacis (now based in the US). He posted a recording of a song called "Bisperas ng Pasko" on his Multiply page. He had this song recorded way back in 2000 (or 2001, not sure) when I was still kinda new with UPCC. Some of the members brought me to that "bara-bara" recording and I actually sang on it! (I sing the first few lines with Mon T.)
Here is the link>>
but you have to sign up with multiply before you can play it. :p hehe.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

I just feel like typing today

I have tons of work to do ... but I just feel like typing today (tonight, to be exact).

"Hey hey hey, are you OK?"
I am now a certified First Aider! I'm hoping I never get to use my new skills, but knowing that you know how to save someone's life is kinda cool. I can imagine how doctors must feel. Hehehe...

I'm off to Singapore (agen) next week for a few days. I'm attending a workshop this time around. Whoever is there, buy me some coffee aight. :D I'm leaving on Wednesday from the Centennial Airport (Terminal 2, the nicer airport). I'll be back in Maynila on Sunday next week. Oh, and I read somewhere that the NAIA 3 Terminal is now open (finally!).

They've formed a choir here in Shell Tabangao, and I'm one of the singers of course. Our conductor is a former Madz who took up Choral Conducting in the UPCMu.

It's a HOLIDAY on MONDAY! yay!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tatay @ 50

Today, my dad celebrates his 50th Birthday.

For the moment, my family is in different parts of the world: Tatay in Oman, Nanay & Ate in California, me in Batangas & Jett in Manila, but nevertheless, we will celebrate Tatay's 50th each in our own way. And the BIG parteh will come later. Hehe!

We love you Tatay!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stupid Silly Poems of Overworked on a Friday

Office Instant Messenger at 6PM on a Friday night...

Officemate 1: Rey, pauwi na ba kayo in a few minutes?
Me: Hmm, how few is few?

a few is just bit
but another thought, just wait!
'coz a bit is less than few
or does that depend on you?
I know a couple is just two
so does few mean more than..., oooh
how about a "teka lang"
is it really short or long-

Officemate 1: huh?
Me: ....

just a pondering on "few"
maybe Tudoy or you knew
is it more than "several",
is it more than 1 at all?

Officemate 1: tudoy pls answer, di ko na nage-gets si rey
Officemate 2: weird na si rey


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Avatar: The Last Airbender

If you're not already a fan, I suggest you go check it out!

It's coming to movie theaters too! (In July 2010 that is...) But still, that's awesome!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Random: Balong Malalim, Blood and Batangas

This, of course, is in reverse...
  • MONDAY - I went to the clinic today to get a sliver out of my right thumb and get a flu vaccine. The former hurt more coz the nurse had to really dig for it under the skin with a needle. And yes, there was blood.
  • SUNDAY - Still On duty in Batangas. Liz has been here since Friday night. Thank God. I had an odd feeling I would go crazy if I was alone that weekend. Blah.
  • SATURDAY - My Tatay & my baby sis came back from US of A today. But I can't pick them up from the airport coz imma stuck in Batangas. // Do you know that song: "Gusto kong mag-swimming! Sa balong malalim!"? It's an oldie rock and roll song from Juan dela Cruz. It was awesome, I got to sing it for a Shell event. And even though it felt really weird, posing as a rakista and not being very convincing, I still enjoyed it. haha! Missing singing. We also did "Shadows grow so long (before my eyes!)" and "Surroundings (aka Kapaligiran)".
Gusto pang kumain! Kumain ng kumain! Di naman nabubusog sa kanyang kinain!
  • FRIDAY - I thought I had seen the last of this RCA. Oh was I ever wrong...
Other random thoughts:
  1. It's freakin raining again?!?!?
  2. My thumb hurts. And I have scratched all over my arms and legs. I'm never gardening again.
  3. David Cook won AI7 last week. And now he has 11 songs in the Billiboard Hot 100! Holy crup!
  4. Hot and Spicy Nagaraya. Yum. What's for dinner. I'm hungry!!!
  5. Who cares?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Suddenly Taller

I feel suddenly taller.

But my head also feels suddenly heavier.

Like it's harder to balance when I walk...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I do miss that

You're gonna' miss this
You're gonna' want this back
You're gonna' wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna' miss this

Thursday, March 27, 2008

American Idol Top 10 Results

Chikezie, my #10 on the list, is gone, gone, gone...

He's the first to be kicked out of the Top 10. Not to worry though, 'coz he will be on the Idol Tour. :p
The others in the Bottom 3 were Syesha (who kind of looks like Gingga, a friend of mine) and Jason Castro. Syesha has been in the Bottom 3 once before, meaning her chances of NOT getting past Top 9 just increased hundredfold, unless of course, she turns in a mind blowing performance next week.

It's Jason's first time in the bottom 3. I think people are beginning to get bored with him. Maybe he should straighten his hair or something. Haha!

Anyway, another week, another results show.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

American Idol Top 10

It's Wednesday night, that means AI night, on YouTube, for my case. So I though I'd put a link to a YouTube site for the performances so that y'all can watch it like I did.

Tonight, they chose songs from the year they were born. Here's my take on the Top 10, arrange from "Most Likely to Stay" to "Most Likely to Go"...

Rank 1 - David Archuleta: 1990 - "You're The Voice"
Weird, 'coz I didn't really like it. It was sort of preachy, I suppose. Like a song at the end of a movie, or just exactly what Simon said, with animated creatures all around, and the whole chorus coming out to sing that last bit, complete with high C's in the end. :D Besides, it didn't showcase his sincere voice well, tsaka pumiyok sya sa gitna. Hehe.

Rank 2 - David Cook: 1982 - "Billy Jean"
That was hot! And then again, they say this version wasn't his original arrangement... Vocals were good though. Nice touch to a Michael Jackson classic.

Rank 3 - Michael Johns: 1978 - "We Will Rock You" & "We Are The Champions"
Blah. That song was way too big for him. C'mon man. I know you have a huge range, but Queen? The judges liked it anyway. Yikes. Ok, I liked the first part, but when he started belting out the big notes, he was being careful, I found it was still and not fun at all. To me, he sounded worried about not being able to hit the notes.

Rank 4 - Carly Smithson: 1983 - "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"
Awesome, but weird ending. The ending was like a biker chick baking cookies. Just really out of place dude. Although, still a strong contender despite her being in the bottom 3 last week. She won't be out soon.

Rank 5 - Syesha Mercado: 1987 - "If I Were Your Woman"
I knew she could sing, way to go! That was right on point. She chose a song that showed off her voice well. However, I think what is a disadvantage for her is that there have been a lot (a lot) of other singers like her. She is, by default (and it's not her fault) no longer original. I do think she will make it to the Top 5 though.

Rank 6 - Brooke White: 1983 - "Every Breath You Take"I liked it. :D Although, I think she wasn't able to properly portray the essence of the song, the sort of obsessive, almost stalker lines: every breath you take, i'll be watching you. I would have preferred more intensity to it.

Rank 7 - Ramiele Malubay: 1987 - "Alone"After her performance, Randy opened his review with a statement that Ramiele was under the weather. From a performer's point of view, I think that's a load of bull. I mean, when you have concerts, people will pay to hear you sing, and you can't make excuses to them saying you were sick. They shouldn't even know. But having said that, I think Ramiele did an OK job with Alone, not quite spectacular, she goes flat when she comes from a high note to a low note, but overall it was okay.

Rank 8 - Jason Castro: 1987 - "Fragile"The judges thought it wasn't good, but I think it was better than his Michelle. I hear he writes songs well, maybe he can just write songs for better singers. Hehe. Seriously, the reason why the judges didn't like it was because it was the same as every other week in the past. And the reason for THAT is he just can't do any other style. Sorry Jason, no offense meant. :p

Rank 9 - Kristy Lee Cook: 1984 - "God Bless The USA"
She's really not a very good singer, no? She needs to be kicked off the singing contest! She was very pitchy, I did not feel even a tinge of patriotism from this performance, and her lines even were oozing with cheese! Tough luck.

Rank 10 - Chikezie: 1985 - "If Only For One Night"Cheesy Chikezie. Haha! He's no Luther, but he can sing. Unfortunately, he wasn't relatable, he wasn't real. xp And American Idol wants someone who's real.

Bottom 3 are Kristy Lee Cook, Chikezie and Jason Castro.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

American Idol Top 11 Results

Aight boys and girls, Amanda Overmyer is out.

I got 2 out of 3 right in the bottom 3. :p Haha!
But yeah, I think Kristy Lee Cook deserved to go home way more than Amanda Overmyer.

I didn't get to see the whole show, and no one has posted it on YouTube yet, but I did get to see their group song. Did you notice Ramiele Malubay's mic was out when she sang with Brooke White. Sabotage! Heh heh.

Next week ulit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

American Idol Ranking the Top 11

It's another round of Beatles songs for the Top 11. I felt it was about time I wrote about it, since I really wanted to anyway. Haha. :p So I'm watched the performances on YouTube, searched first for Filipina Ramiele Malubay, then for front runner David Archuleta. But here's my ranking of the Top 11 and in the end, my bottom 3 for tomorrow's results show...

Jason Castro - Michelle - Argh. I don't really know why they like this guy. I don't get it... Is it the geek appeal? They keep saying he's charming, but I really don't see it. All I see is a shy geeky guy with dreds who can play the guitar. It's a singing contest.

Michael Johns - A Day in the Life - This guys started out really strong on AI7, but he was kinda overshadowed by the others (maybe by David Cook). I still like his voice though, he sounds sincere. For this week, he was okay, he went flat on that falsetto, but was in-tune for the rest.

Carly Smithson - Blackbird - Bad song choice for her. The arrangement was horrendous. And she was flat for 80% of that song... I didn't like it AT ALL. Even after the whole explanation on the song, I still didn't like it. She was great last week though, and she'll probably go through, but she should stay away from songs that require restrained high notes.

Syesha Mercado - Yesterday - When she began singing the song, I was thinking, uh oh.. she started really high, then she hit that "something wrong" line, and I realized, yep, she can sing alright. She botched up some parts, but overall it was good. I think, though, that she needs to show more personality, more charm.
Chikezie - I've Just Seen A Face - Zzzz. Whoa! Country? Gah. I don't like him.

Ramiele Malubay - I Should Have Known Better - I liked seeing her dance, but she was flat in parts. Better than her last 2 performances though. But hers is a personality that you want to root for. Maybe coz she's so tiny. (Or maybe coz she's Filipino! Hehe.)

David Cook - Daytripper - I love this Beatles song, and I love the sort of rock version of it. The vocoder wasn't cool though. It was, well, weird. But the vocals I enjoyed. :D
Brooke White - Here Comes The Sun - She has a pretty voice, very textured. But she doesn't seem to have much control over her tones. I didn't like her Let It Be last week (even though she received great reviews from the judges) and this week was kind of the same, with the flats and sharps everywhere.

Amanda Overmyer - Back In The USSR - This girl has an awesome voice, but she's being too obnoxious to be crowned AI7 winner. Haha. I think Simon was right, she should shake it up a bit. Even during a concert, she can't sing all hard rock songs all night (if she plans to do that, she should insure her throat first).

Kristy Lee Cook - You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - Pretty girl. No connection. Unfortunately, she has been doing terribly since the Top 24 started.
David Archuleta - The Long And Winding Road - Simply put, he has a beautiful voice. Blah. I'm jealous. Haha! But this week, i found myself waiting on every word to see if he will forget the lyrics again. Check it out on youtube, he had vids there where he forgets the words of his songs.

My TOP 3

  1. David Archuleta
  2. David Cook
  3. Carly Smithson
My BOTTOM 3 predictions
  1. Kristy Lee Cook
  2. Chikezie
  3. Amanda Overmyer

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Have you been watching AI lately?

I have. On YouTube. Haha!
I don't get to sit in front of the TV anymore. And the TV remote doesn't work. And the channels are almost all encrypted. And I don't want to pay for cable so...

I've been stuck in Batangas since Feb 11. And will be stuck here until the 7th of March. (wopee!) That's 25 freakin' days! I've never been stuck here that long.
So I've begun to miss home a few days ago. That song has been ringing in my ear for the past few days (damn it)..."When I think of...(you guessed it) home..."

So here's a list of things that I'm missing right now (not including the icky, mushy stuff ha)...
  • My bed! And my pillows!
  • My mom's cooking! yummy....
  • Our ginormous TV (with a freakin' working remote control!)
  • Our backyard where I hang out or clip my toenails or lift some weights
  • My Papa's (grandpa) crazy roosters that think morning begins at 10pm and begin cackling (cockadoodledooing? but that sounds a bit dirty no?)
  • The little fish (there's only 1) in our small pond in the garden
  • The water dispenser. :D
  • The WATER! (I swear our water is the best tasting water around...)
  • The couch in our living room.
and most of all...
  • The banyo, where I can sing my heart out in the shower and nobody would mind.
Speaking of singing...
Yeah, I think Ramiele Malubay, that Filipina on American Idol, does have a good chance to get into the Top 12. I am rooting for her. ;)
And okay, fine, we'll all jump into the David Archuleta bandwagon. Liz likes him anyway. Haha.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Na kami!

Miss ko na

At Gelpren.
Bukas den

Sa labash.
Ampaw cash,
Need car wash.
New Year Bash

Kong Hei Fat
Year of Rat!
Choi forgot!
Ay lagot.