"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you."-- Maya Angelou
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
A New Home

Blog is no longer active as I am moving home. ;-)

Posted at 12:57 pm by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Monday, September 05, 2005
'Un-Gendered' Song Pieces of Life

Songs are a kind of prose a man's naturally harmonic soul creates when his raw, naked words find the need for a coat of melodies to attune his say of the life around him. The abundance of life therefore manages to create songs of genuine variety, from the beauty a sunrise of new love brings to the gloom a heartbroken night sleep causes. The music created hence is a melodious language that life itself articulates in the many lives that surround it.

These many lives that speak about the many faces of living through songs are in themselves of varied minds and personalities, complicating therefore the diversity of the music created. One need not to worry of this complexity though, for even in the basic difference in gender of these 'melodic speakers of life', one can still always have the whole piece listened to and celebrated afterwards, for this difference in a way spells a certain unique taste in each man's or a woman's palate.

But what is it really about gender and its personalities that is able to distinctly separate itself as a man's or a woman's song? Specifically, with the long emergence of more female singers in the industry alongside their male counterparts, is there really an issue to open up about gendered songwriting to eventually decide on the better piece-maker and singer?

Psychology and Music

Females have always been regarded as the more emotional specie neighboring their male counterparts, expecting from them more 'juice' in the feelings, but the emotions that stir in them have almost always made their expression too bushy, one may find confusing what the female songwriter actually wants to exactly convey. What is nice about beating around the bush though is it takes you through a whole day of explaining, hopefully making way for more understanding of the perplexing emotional situation they are in. Consider Norah Jones' famous Sunrise song, the singer/songwriter-- an eight-time Grammy winner in 2002.

Sunrise, Sunrise

Looks like morning in your eyes

But the clocks held 9:15 for hours

Sunrise, Sunrise

Couldn't tempt us if it tries

Cause the afternoon's already come and gone

…Surprise, Surprise

Couldn't find it in your eyes

But I'm sure it's written all over my face

Now how's that for a whole afternoon to pass by, with something looked for in somebody to eventually realize it's all in her anyway? But wait until the song woos someone with this chorus,

And I say

Oooo oooo ooo

To you

All the confusion is finally ended to the one to whom the song is sang for.

Comparing it with a colleague, if we are to consider the time they made names in the Hollywood music industry, Jason Mraz, when he talks about love, talks it straight and envisions the feeling almost surely. He even reiterates the line just for that someone to clearly sink it in her.

Cause You and I both know 

What you and I spoke of

What you and I spoke of

Other only dream of the love that I love

Taking a peek at the local music industry, where the names Kitchie Nadal and Bamboo Manalac are a household name, what went soft and breezy with Norah Jones is aggressive and straightforward in Kitchie Nadal's Wag na Wag Mong Sasabihin.

Oh… huwag na huwag mong sasabihin

Na di mo nadama itong

Pag-ibig kong handing

Ibigay kahit pa kalayaan mo

…But the song still has that caressing touch to end it all.

…At sa gabi, sinong duduyan sa'yo

At sa umaga ang hahangin ang hahaplos sa iyo

Meanwhile, Bamboo's Masaya seems to have let the world envelope its emotion, and even had the guts to contrast the sad feeling with a bold MASAYA song title. Men, when confused, can actually turn the world upside down.

Ako'y malungkot na naman Ang dating masaya
Amoy chico na ako Ngayo'y panay problema
Ilang tagay na, hindi pa rin tulog Bumabalot sa mundo
Tanong ko lang sa langit Bakit ganito
Kung bakit pumangit

All in all, differences in gender have almost always created that much less distinction than in a songwriter's beliefs and cultural background when it comes to songs. Men and women have long been treated as equals, and sometimes as shown in the song examples, transcending the other sex's personality. A man can be confusing in as much as a woman can be bolder and aggressive contrary to common impressions that women are more subtle and the men more forward. For as long as the feelings and emotions are completely expressed as grounded in one's sound principles in life, then the message is universally put through, no gender bias whatsoever.

Posted at 01:56 am by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Thursday, August 18, 2005
The Youth and Media

Society has long put its bigger lenses on the youth, ready to scrutinize or praise their actions as they stand on what I consider as the swinging bridge of life. Which is sometimes why I consider a person's youth the most ambivalent stage of his life. The highest of hopes are invested on them in as much as the highest interest for their risks is measured upon. There definitely are plenty of reasons to be skeptic on these 'investments' our society is accruing, for this place we live in has never been the most amiable to even let the strongest chip of the youth hit it straight that bull market of success in life.

Society definitely needs young people of character and value, especially in a time when morality seems to be slowly traded with development. It's really hard to tell if the progress and improvement in our society nowadays are ultimately bringing the greatest good to all, considering the many particular instances when a television can swift-mindedly put in color a picture of violence with those flashy guns and macho men eyeing them to prospected targets, or with how a magazine can centerfold a woman in a two-piece bathing suit bulging those healthy breasts. Much time has been spent by the youth on movie houses outside their homes and their personal computers as they reach their rooms that they barely have time to remember that they are actually doing them on a Sunday when every faithful individual should pay its respects to the Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Worse to know is the fact that some youth actually know such obligation but have nevertheless put it aside for they don't find the salvation one may find in it. They find comfort anyway in the pleasures of these external elements until they lately realize that they are but temporary, not to mention dangerous. They have drowned themselves with drugs, made riots with other ill-influenced friends, and bad-mouthed their parents as if they know more than they do. Their lives are being led astray by these make-lives-easier influences that can actually ruin one's self if not appropriately used or is deliberately abused.

The youth of today should acknowledge the fact that all the comfort and pleasures of life are but from that one God who can take it away from those who do not know how to use and dedicate all of them for His greater glory. His love is overflowing that He never really wishes for us to suffer unless He finds the need to teach us a lesson the hardheaded way already. All He is actually asking is for us to take a step closer to talking to Him, and we can always be sure that He is just there heeding us. Prayer has always been the fastest way to Him. And once we have built that connection with God, it will forever be the fortress that will protect us from the temptations this worldly place is so full of. It will be a lot easier now to reach out to our parents and our good friends from whom we may find secondary support as we trod on this earthly living. Then we finally look inside ourselves, already strengthened by God and our loved ones, and make that firm conviction of living up to what life really calls for—a morally upright and principled life, which will not only spell success but genuine fulfillment.

Posted at 02:10 am by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
It's A Fried China Town! Seriously Though, The Odds Are Not That Great.

Interesting. I don't usually entertain forwarded e-mails but this one proved to be worth-reading.

If the population of the Earth was reduced to that of a small town with100 people, it would look something like this:

57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 Americans, 8 Africans

52 Women, 48 Men

70 Coloured-skins, 30 Caucasians

89 Heterosexuals, 11 Homosexuals

Six people would own 59% of the whole world's wealth and they would all be Americans

80 would have bad living conditions

70 would be uneducated

50 underfed

1 would die

2 would be born

1 would have a computer

1 (only one) would have higher education

When you look at the world from this point of view, you can see there is a real need for solidarity, understanding, patience and education.

This morning, if you woke up healthy, then you are happier than the 1 million people that will not survive next week.

If you never suffered a war, the loneliness of the jail cell, the agony of torture, or hunger, you are happier than 500 million people in the world.

If you can enter into a church (or mosque) without fear of jail or death, you are happier then 3 million people in the world.

If there is food in your fridge, you have shoes and clothes, you have bed and a roof, you are richer then 75% of the people in the world.

If you have bank account, money in your wallet, or some coins in a money-box, you belong to the 8% of the people on the world, who are already well-to-do.

We still are in our own ways luckier, don't you think?

Posted at 08:23 pm by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Friday, April 22, 2005
My Anwar Is Out

Damn it! And there wasn’t even any suspense or nerve-wrecking stillness made when Anwar Robinbson was pronounced out of the American Idol show. You know, the kind that makes everyone feel like the decision to eliminate has been real tough. Argh, sometimes I think Ryan Seacrest is too good of a host for me to hate already. (Hehe, kiddin’. Such a host, I must say) He must’ve thought I’d not be able to breathe when he prolongs the upcoming bad fate for Anwar any longer, so he surprised me with a twisted exit for him. Really. As in I found myself covering my mouth with disbelief. And it stayed even after he was done with his September song. Ryan asked Scott and Anthony to step forward and there I was thinking they’re the ones called for the bottom two (as how Ryan normally does it)… I mean, the two look more unstable in their rankings considering I don’t really think they’re that good enough. Hehehe.

…then Ryan Seacrest asked the two to go to the couch! Arrrgh, Did anyone feel it, even Anwar wasn’t able to sink the whole thought in him that immediately when he was shaking hands with Scott and Anthony already. Anwar was surprised himself, believe me.


I’m sad. I just think Anwar Robinson is such a darling. I’m not so much for the boyband look in Anthony, I wouldn’t want another Ruben Studdard size in Scott, and rockers don’t really pitch me in. Though I have a strong feeling that for variety’s sake, they’d let a husky voice make it. Now I don’t want to make guesses again. I’m just disappointed now.

Posted at 09:07 pm by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Monday, April 18, 2005
The Asphalts of Employment

Last year’s GDP has increased, foreign tourists have long gone back, and the Philippine peso is slowly fighting its way up, yet the gloom that is yet to test our feet as new graduates to the asphalt of labor and employment is still as vehement, as the country’s unemployment rate steps up again and therefore steps on the millions of workers’ backs for more burden. Most people blame the government for such inability to provide jobs, as if all they had to do in that work to be given to them is lie and wait till the fruit drops from the tree. Even if the economy has enough work for everyone, if that worker does not perform his part well in developing the skills demanded by it, then it does not make any difference had nobody actually worked. And where do we get the skills but in the education that we pursue. We might want to blame the government again for such ignorance to its importance, but one thing that my last year of learning has taught me is that the government could do just a certain much. It could do itself justice already by entering a child in school and providing the things to keep him abreast, but the fate this child makes is ultimately in his hands—in the motivation and drive to succeed. Yes, the inefficiency will always be there, would we still let ourselves be dragged down by it? If we can’t find in the government the sturdy walls to lean on then we built those pillars ourselves to have something we can rely on. Then the world won’t be too gloomy after all, for the real hope seeps through, as seen in the determination we maintain for this country. Bush has won his second term, Saddam have long had his shave after being caught, a strong storm has killed thousands of natives in Quezon, a movie icon has suddenly passed away… yet the country is still alive, though struggling. So I guess there really is still that bleak hope.

Posted at 04:31 pm by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Being Understated

I got this from Miss Tintin aka Miss Relationship and Personality Guru, and thought I'd see how those manly lenses look at me.

Men See You As Understated

You are an intriguing mix of girl and woman. You're feminine, quiet, and a total mystery to most men. Yet they often feel the urge to protect you, even if they don't know you. You *are* a flirt, but you usually only flirt with those you know well How Do Men See You? Take This Quiz :-) Find the Love of Your Life (and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Haha. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, really. Does being understated mean that the people around you have not been checking out on the best and leave out on those who put more weight all along, or does it plainly mean the understated does not know how to use his strengths and talents well to be checked out?

Posted at 02:54 am by halcyone
Comment (1)  
"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Monday, April 04, 2005
Some Reflections on the Pope

At mass yesterday afternoon, it had for its ending hymn the once popular "Tell The World Of His Love" song singing in the background, and hearing it exerted a babyish effort in me to recall the actions that went with it. More importantly it made me remember how I once so much wanted to involve myself with the World Youth Day celebration, with the Pope's presence making it so momentous. At ten years old though, they didn't think I was youthful enough, rather childish and not yet ready for such delegation. So I stayed glued at home with my TV.

That was the first time I ever heard about Pope John Paul II, and though I could just care less with the other information I may know of him, I knew how big and important he was as a person and as a man of God. To have all those people swarming around him and to have that glassed mobile car roaming while he waved to all of them… and seeing all of those on television, was enough to convince me that he was worth every chance to meet or even see from afar.

Like what I said though, I wasn't really given the chance, and now that he's gone, there is that slightest frustration in me that I wasn't able to take part in his visit.

But I had my share in the successful event nevertheless. And I think that was the most that I could do at that time. I remember that our Church participated in this fostering activity where we housed two "kuya's" who were delegates from the near provinces, and they stayed with us for several days during their stay in Manila to make it easier for them to attend to the places the event called for. My mom was even still pregnant with my sister who is by the way ten years old now. The two kuya's were Kuya Romeo and Kuya Efren. (Haha, neat, I wonder where they are right now)

I basically just sufficed myself with little stories from them, and just added those to the excitement I'd get from the television. At ten years old, my yearnings were as strong as the satisfaction I get so easily. I don't know, he was just so comfortable to look at and easy to love. He must be real telegenic. Some heavenly or spiritual media angles where he is good at. Hehe.

As I sit in front of the television at twenty years old now, and see the same number of people swarming, but this time with that golden pillow supporting his head as he lies as a rested man in public, I could just pray that he prays for all of us in heaven, for there is no doubt to where he is heading anyway, and that we have a next pope whom I will get to have the same ten-year-old excitement with.

*** Gee, I never really realized how gwapo he was, especially when he was younger. Some Polish blood huh... :) ****


Posted at 02:49 am by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Graduation Day

When a thing has to end to start anew…
When a considerable amount of time has been consummated for that thing to be already called a ‘phase’ in one’s life...
When a yearned, arduous task along has finally been succeeded…
…And the right mix of rueful and blissful memories has come with the chore…
We do all means for it to forever leave a mark in our minds, and so with all blithe and grandeur, we celebrate on such transition.

Yesterday morning though, the co-batch slash former classmate I was sitting in the graduation ceremonies with blurted on how the event could just be nothing more but a day that HAD to be spent for. For whom or for what, I just couldn’t figure it out in him. If I were to dig on what he actually meant, he would have actually told me how the event was merely spent because it has always been the thing done. And it frustrated him because he was not able to bring along enough emotion fit for such classical occasion. But as insisted by him, it was just but a close to ordinary day, except that he was in his hood and toga— and it still was not enough for him to pour out whatever feeling a student about to graduate should feel.

Now I was looking for something or someone to blame-- from the wrong choice of songs in the background during the ceremony to the limited participation of the students, which left most of us (except of course for the honor students) sitting for most of the time. But of course, both would be too shallow for a reason.

Does the attitude already tell of the lack of value given to education? Or just plain indifference to such celebration? I still would want to think that he is happy to have a degree he could use to apply for a job, you know. For he added how excited he was to apply for work the next day.

With how advanced times are getting, it is not surprising how emotions and feelings are ripped off from the once ‘so-celebrated’ times in a person’s life. Because you see, like in this particular case, one can even study without having to go to school and mingle with other people, and one can actually get a diploma fast without having to march on stage. And take this, just when we do all means to do good and study hard to finish school, just so we could have a nice and stable job, there are those people who already have the right connections and their parents’ rich life to support their future living without having to hold a degree.

* Oh my, I wish they could take me to their same place of El Dorado…*

But personally, for whatever it’s worth, Graduation day is still a momentous event for me, for it is just one of the very rare times our family gets together. Well yeah, I wasn’t overly thrilled and super excited, but I am real glad it has happened for it definitely formalized everything— my education, my future, and my life. No matter how college cannot run without those pains in the butt, I sure wouldn’t have survived them if my family’s not around. Especially now that we’re all growing up and trying to define the paths we should take, it really means a lot that we are able to maintain or better yet develop the bond we have for one another.

Posted at 02:14 pm by halcyone
Comments (4)  
"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

Thursday, March 24, 2005
I Want To Fall In Love With Him

If there is one song that I constantly play and replay in my player and sing along with, this is it. Songs have more or less been a good medium of expression, and though I don't think I will ever be excellent in belting the tunes right, I sure will always be the great 'appreciator' of music.

This is actually pretty perfect for the season. Hope it lasts me, not just for the remaining days but till the forever days to come.

Love Song for a Savior
by Jars Of Clay

In open fields of wild flowers
She breathes the air and flies away
(She thanks her Jesus for) the daisies and the roses
In no simple language
Someday she'll understand the meaning of it all

He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heaven
As close as a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call her and she will come running
And fall in His arms, the tears will fall down and she'll pray

I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You

Sitting silent, wearing Sunday best
The sermon echoes through the walls
(A great salvation through) it calls to the people
Who stare into nowhere, and can't feel the chains on their souls

He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heaven
As close as a heartbeat or a song on our lips
Someday we'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call us and we will come running
And fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we'll pray

I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
La la la...

It seems too easy to call You Savior
Not close enough to call you God
(So as I sit and think of) words I can mention
To show my devotion

I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You

Posted at 05:54 pm by halcyone
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"There are as many opinions as there are people: to each his own custom."--Terence

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  • Fine, fine. I sure could be the last person to believe anything that is conspicuously doubtful or unreal. A tinge of skepticism makes anyone an extra vigilant squadee though, which, if you think of it, can save a life for a second.

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