Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Singing at the Madz et al and cheating on Korus

Our company choir will be singing today at the Madz et al Festival.

Despite having been a choir singer for 6.5 years, this will be the first time I will attend this festival.

Because I'm not a "Madz", I'm a "Korus". :D Haha.

Now, now, don't start debating about whether one is better than the other. Both choirs are wonderful in their own right. A couple of years ago, the Madz brought home their second (!) European Grand Prix victory in Italy. In the world of choral singing, that's definitely a feat! And I am really truly proud of them. The Korus, on the other hand, completed their 18th International Concert Tour last year to Europe. They have been going on tour (each 6 or 7 months long) since 1974 almost regularly every 2 or 3 years!

Both choirs were established at around the same time, officially about a year apart. Now just by the age of both groups, you can conclude that both have something special. Not all choirs live to be over 40 you know. With members fueled by passion for excellence, and a solid fan base (hehe), both choirs flourished in the 1970's and 80's, the height of development of choral music in our history.

The Madz and Korus have very different personalities as choirs. The Madz trademark is their "sitting down" formation, and the Korus' is their choreographed choral singing.

I've sung together with the Madrigal singers before (and it's always a delight), but singing with them as a Korus member of course. It's just a weird feeling to be singing in a different choir now, and then to be performing in Madz et al which is really not a Madz concert, but a Madz sponsored festival. Not to bring down my current group, I think we are doing quite well for a young choir.

It's just me I guess. I keep thinking, "Am I cheating on my choir?"
What do you think?

Gah! We've lost our internet connection at the house and I can't blog! Waah!
Hopefully it will be back up again soon, I haven't put up a post about Puerto Galera yet...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ako Mismo

What will you do? Make a pledge now. Visit

----edited 08-May-09----

First off, let's agree to disagree.

I've seen a lot of discussion on this, some quasi neutral like Now What, Cat, some quasi positive like Martin Perez and some negative like Bikoy.

So many what ifs, so little time.

Do I think this advocacy will change the world? Nope. Do I think it matters? Not really. It's like a New Year's resolution that you try to do for a few months, then you fall off the bandwagon...

But surely, if this sudden wave of Nationalism gets 5000 or 10000 people to the voter's registration, if for a few months more Filipinos will think there is hope for our country's Judicial system, if after watching the ad on TV, 20 policemen feel guilty for extorting money from motorists, or 10 Angel Locsin fans think it's cool be proud of your country... then I would call that a success.

Some are concerned about required info they gather on the site, well, whatever statistical info or "feel of the majority" they get from this campaign, let them get it. They've spent so much money for it they probably deserve it. Haha. A lot of other companies and groups get statistical info from numerous sources and for numerous reasons we do not know about! Who knows, maybe for this, they're going to use that information to further their cause and influence more Filipinos to do good for themselves.

Of course there's a LOT of money involved here, but MONEY is involved in everything. If this one generates money for them, then good for them. Congrats. Then maybe they can use that money to help others. Why shouldn't I think that? They're a charity org aren't they? I'm not worried if all of a sudden we find out it's backed up by a political group and will push for an agenda that we do not agree with. If that happens then I'll stop supporting them. No deal.

Their campaign appeals to the idealists in us, and as cynics always are, they do not comprehend how this can affect anything at all. But I think it already has.

In any case, I've registered and put my little pledge on that cute little space on their site.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Blown away by Clean Energy: Bangui Windmills

A Theme Thursday post.
Bangui Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte, Philippines.

On the way to the Pagudpud Beach, north of the Philippines, we stopped by to take photos of the Bangui Wind Farm. The sun was about to set so we had to hurry to catch the last sliver of light. We were just in time. :D

According to WikiPilipinas, the Bangui Windmills are located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. It was a project by the NorthWind Development Corporation as a renewable energy source and help reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The project is the first “Wind Farm” in the Philippines consisting of wind turbines on-shore facing the South China Sea and considered to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. This clean energy source provides 40% of the power requirements of the whole Ilocos Norte province.

Personally, I was just blown away by how clean energy could be so cool. ;)

This photo of me and my dad, actually won for me a feature at our monthly e-Newletter sent to all sites in the world. :D

Want to read more about our trip to Pagudpud? Read this "Pagudpud and other related Adventures"

South Korea's 40 Richest in 2009 and Korean crazy Pinoys

If you check out my sidebar, a few Koreans visit my blog! (lol!) Most visitors are Filipinos or Americans, next are Canadians, and then Koreans! I wonder if they come here by accident or are really looking around Filipino blogs. If you're a Korean reading this, please leave a comment!

A lot of Filipinos have become Korean crazy, from the soap operas, to the clothes, to their hairstyles and even Korean food (kimchi anyone?). I even know a few people who work part time as English tutors for Koreans! They say Koreans go here to learn English because it's cheaper here than anywhere else. I think they like it here because people are not rude to them, and even treat them as special most of the time.

Because of the tremendous increase in Korean tourists in the country, almost all the tourist destinations now have Korean signs, Korean restaurants, Korean spas, Korean everything. The net effect, give it a decade or so, you'll now have a generation of Filipino-Koreans (like Filipino-Chinese are called "Chinoys" or Filipino-Americans are "Fil-Ams", maybe they will be called "Korenoys" or "Fil-Kors").

Anyway, as a welcome mat to my Korean visitors, I've found this for you! Forbes Magazine released on May 1, 2009, their list of 40 richest people in South Korea...

Here is the first 10 richest in South Korea:
1. Lee Kun-Hee - former Samsung Group Chairman
2. Chung Mong-Koo - Hyundai MOtor Chairman
3. Chung Mong-Joon - Korea's richest politician
4. Lee Myung-Hee - heads retailer Shinsegae (sister of #1)
5. Shin Dong-Bin - vice chairman of Lotte Group in Korea
6. Shin Dong-Joo - vice president of Lotte in Japan
7. Jay Y. Lee - senior vice president developing Samsung's global business
8. Chang Pyung-Soon - owns Kyowon Group, an education company
9. Koo Bon-Moo - Chairman of LG Group
10. Shin Chang-Jae - Chairman of Kyobo Life Insurance

See the complete list at Forbes here!
Leave a comment!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Poor Britney

Last Saturday, a Britney Spears fan went up to the stage of her Circus tour concert in Connecticut, apparently wanting to dance with her and maybe get a little bit of spotlight. Well, he did. Kyle King, the 20-year-old man, was arrested, but was released after posting a $250 bail.

Here's the video of the incident, the man comes in at 2:19 and freaks the hell out of Britney Spears...

She was obviously lip synching because the microphones didn't catch any of her "Oh, my God!" screams. She was also stunned that for a few moments she stopped dancing altogether.

Being myself a performer in the past, I can somewhat imagine how much she freaked out. While you're up on stage, you're adrenaline is pumping, you're concentrating on doing so many things at once: singing, dancing, making sure you go to the right places on the stage, you don't trip on the stairs, your face portrays what you're singing, listening to the music, and everything else. And then seeing this stranger there right in front of you in shadows, that must've been really surprising. Add to that the fact that she is a huge celebrity, so her initial reaction was probably that the guy was going to harm her.

That to me was not funny at all.

Why Filipinos love Manny Pacquiao

I am not a big boxing enthusiast, I've never boxed my whole life, but whenever Manny Pacquiao is in the ring, I make it a point to watch: I shout at every punch and cheer every time he lands one on the face of his opponent. I even cuss when he gets one himself. "Ow!" "Wooot!" "Shat!" "Iyown!"

And I'm not the only one. In fact, every Filipino is like that. It's widely known that every time Manny Pacquiao fights, crime rate is ZERO in the Philippines. Everyone is tuned in to support and pray for his victory. Manny's victory becomes our victory, as a nation, as Filipinos.

"...because he is a Filipino..."