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100 Things I Love Project: #9 – Making Mixed CDs

Whether you’re a really good friend or just a mere acquaintance, it gives me great joy to make mixed CDs or playlists for you.

Back when it was still cassette tapes (yes children, there was life before CDs and mp3s), I would painstakingly record my favorite songs from the radio, complete with DJ interrupting the song to make some inane remark. That’s why I am eternally grateful to the Moving Picture Experts Group who apparently came up with the mp3 format, because they have truly revolutionized my life

With the advent of mp3s, itunes and CD burners, I’ve become a big fan of making playlists for those who ask for them or even if you don’t ask for it and I just feel like you would benefit from some of the songs I constantly listen to. I’m your very own itunes genius playlist; just tell me which artists you normally listen to and I can create a whole CD of similar sounding / same genre songs for you.

I also find it fun to introduce artists and songs that I love to people who’ve never heard of them before. I’m not one of those elitists who want to keep good music away from the masses and all to themselves.

And chances are, in my humble opinion, you would love my playlists. Unless you are a hiphop/r&b/bubblegum pop kind of person. Then you would probably throw away the CD I gave you, which is too bad, coz you’re missing out on a chance to level up your musical horizons.

So just give me a holler if you want one. My more than 100 gigs of music is not just for my listening pleasure you know

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #8 – Lola’s Sneak Hug Attacks

If you’ve known me for a long time, you also know how “colorful” my relationship is with my lola. Up until a few years ago, there was still a part of me that was a little bit terrified of her (partly because of an incident involving a screaming match and a knife and me running around the house). Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death, but she was a pretty dominant personality. Just ask Mama and her sisters, and they have metaphorical battle wounds to show you. And my brother, oh well, you’d have to spend a day (or a week) just to hear all his stories.

So it is was with great surprise to me that our relationship began to improve the past few years. I guess it’s true what they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. My moving out of our house was the catalyst for me to become the “favorite apo” here in the Philippines. My brother had his phase when he was in the seminary, so I guess we’re even.

One of the things I love most now is whenever I go home, Lola gives me sneak hug attacks, whether I’m at the sink washing dishes, or standing in front of the mirror and wondering what the heck happened to me, or i’m just sitting in the dining table aka my workstation at home. She is now very frail and bony and it’s quite scary to hug her back with all the love that I’m feeling because I’m scared I might crush her. But those short, simple hugs are just some of the most precious moments for me, because I know that she won’t be here forever.

Everyday, I am just thankful that God has given me one more day with her, whether I’m home or not.

And every sneak hug attack just fills me with so much warmth and love for the greatest grandmother in the world

So if you still have your gramma with you, give her a hug whenever you can okay? Life is just too short and grandmothers are one of God’s greatest gifts to us

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #7 – Peanut Butter

It’s creamy. It’s yummy. It sticks to the roof of your mouth (or if you’re like me, to the roof of your dentures). How can you not love it? It becomes even more amazing when paired with jellies of any kind; marmalade, strawberry, guava, you name it. And if you’re weird, you can even pair it with cheese or liver spread

If you are craving for chocolate, but you vowed to yourself that you shouldn’t have any more ever since you finished a pack of Cadbury in one sitting, then a spoonful of peanut butter will sate that hunger in you for something sweet.

And contrary to popular belief, it’s actually healthy and is a good tool for helping you lose weight. Well, that is if you believe about.com. Click to read all about it.

Another reason why I adore peanut butter is it brings back memories of my Sesame Street days, when I would just plop down in front of the TV. And everytime The Amazing Mumford came on, I just had to have a peanut butter sandwich whenever he performed a magic trick. And if you don’t know who he is

Thus ends my ode to peanut butter

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #4 – Dancing With (and Inside) Myself

I cannot dance to save my life.

This is a truth I’ve long ago accepted and it has been the 2nd biggest frustration of my life (drawing is the first).

And if you’re really my friend, you know you cannot make me dance in public. This is also weird since I used to be 1/8 of a semi-show band. I think it comes from a deep-seated trauma of being forced (yes, forced!)  to join two dance contests in high school and being jokingly ridiculed (but ridiculed nonetheless) by my classmates. And for a secretly awkward and gawky adolescent, it really is traumatic. I vowed to myself that I will never put myself in that position again.

But once my bedroom door is closed, and an incessant beat is raging in my head, it’s a different story. The phrase “dance your heart out” becomes a living, breathing message for myself. (by the way, this is a fact that very few people know about me, until now). I dance like I’m Kayla Radomski (that’s a So You Think You Can Dance finalist for those who don’t watch the show), flailing around the stage, bringing a contemporary interpretation to a Sara Bareilles song. I jump around the room, limbs akimbo, and pretend that I am at a Kaiser Chiefs dance rock marathon. I dance like I’m the only female member of the Jabbawockeez, too cool to just dance to a simple R&B tune so it has to be a perfectly produced remix. Those moments are precious because I can just let go and regardless of whether I was born with actual rhythm or not, it does not matter because  there is no one to see or judge or point their finger at me and laugh uncontrollably.

But the most profound moments of my secret dancing life are spent while in the company of other people who don’t know that I am dancing inside. If you happen to see me on the MRT with my earphones bobbing my head to unheard music, then you know that deep inside, I am imagining myself breaking out in a spontaneous dance number to the amazement and embarrassment of the people around me. When I watch amazing dancers in a concert or show, I just smile and tap my feet but secretly, I’m dying of envy and yet I am envisioning myself to be on stage with them. But most of all, in the throes of communal worship with fellow believers, I close my eyes and do a simple, gravity-defying, genre-breaking dance performance for Him, who doesn’t care if I stumble while executing a pirouette, as long as my heart is in the right place.

So yes, you might never persuade me to dance in front of other people, but know that my inner, dancing self is totally sated

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #3 – John and Kaligay

Okay, I know they should be considered two items, but pretty soon (wink, wink) they will become one.

John was my first honest-to-goodness guy friend. Contrary to what you might surmise about my personality, I don’t make friends with guys easily. For some reason that still eludes me to this day, I used to find it really awkward to talk to/relate to/interact with guys. But when I met John in my first year of college, we just sort of clicked, and I mean that in a strictly platonic, non-marrying way. He has been many things to me over our more than 10 years of friendship: brother, tormentor, counselor, bandmate, churchmate, neighbour, housemate, post-breakup hugger, mp3 provider, corny jokes-jejemon-imitator, football obsession partner, one-of-my-best-friends. I still don’t understand why he likes garlic and boy bands, but I do know that I love him to bits and pieces.

I met Kaligay when she was just a 16 year old freshman in UP and I was a wise beyond my years (or I would like to believe) senior. She was unlike any freshman I’ve met, because she was brash and irreverent and so not shy, but she wormed her way into the hearts of us older people at Christmass (that’s Christian Mass Communicators to you). And yes, she wormed her way into John’s heart as well, much to our consternation, largely due to her age and our wish to “protect” her from John (that’s a whole other story). And over the years, she has also become most of the things I mentioned about John above, both as an individual, and as part of the “power couple”

I have seen their love story from the very beginning. I have been with them through the ligawan stage, the heartaches, the kilig moments, the “eewww…this is too mushy” moments, the pain, the joy.

I feel privileged that they have let me into their love story, which, as mushy and as cliched as it may sound, has led me to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though it is a tunnel that I am still not willing to endure (haha). Theirs is a story of forgiveness, patience, endurance, persistence and joyful love.

And as I mentioned to them last night, they have played a crucial part in my own personal story of redemption and recovery, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I feel blessed to have their forgiveness, patience, endurance, persistence and joyful love.

I know I will cry on the big day. I won’t be able to help it. Two of the people I love most in this world getting married is a day worthy of those tears of joy

I love you John and Kaligay. And when I say I wish you all the best, I really do mean it, from the deepest recesses of my heart.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #2 – Football

Well duh

If you are in my social network, chances are you’ve seen my gazillion a day statuses about football, Nando, Spain, Fernando Torres, World Cup, Fern. You see where I’m going.

And even though I have a few friends (with emphasis on the few. I count maybe 8 or 10) who understand my fascination with the sport. Most react with “that’s boring” or “gwapo lang mga players” or “basketball na lang”

But I believe my love affair with football is just starting to take off and will continue for the rest of my life (and 80% of the world agrees with me)

Okay, I have to admit that I initially got hooked on the sport because of the hot men (if you’re a female with a pulse, you would of course). And I have to admit that until now, I can be such a girl about them

But along the way, I just fell in love with the beauty of the sport and the players who run a 120 meter field for 45 minutes straight per half, without so much as a water or bathroom or breathing break

I love seeing the passes and the sneak attacks and the aggressive defending and the amazing last-minute saves and the incredible footwork and the breathtaking speed

And yes, goals are very few and far between, but that just means that each goal is a cause for the ultimate celebration. Each goal is just so worth it.

And I also love the obsessive nature of the sport, with fans going to great lengths to support their favorite players, countries and clubs. That they would do/say/post anything for their faves is a testament to how gripping the sport (and yes, the behind-the-scenes drama) is.

And the men. Okay, don’t get me started on the men. Just a few words. Nando. Kaka. Almost the whole Spanish team. Messi. Mueller. Gerrard. Bocanegra. Gourcuff. Higuain. Santa Cruz. Okay, enough drooling now

After this World Cup, the next step for me is learn the game more. Oh, and yeah, pick a club. My friends have been convincing me to go with ManU or Arsenal or Barca or Inter. And because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Spain, I’d probably go for Barca and Liverpool (only for Nando and Iker).

And I don’t care if you follow the sport because of the guys or because everyone you know is following it, as long as there are more Filipinos who love the game, I’m happy

Te amo futbal!!!

Vamonos La Furia Roja

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2010 in 100 Things I Love, Footie

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #1 – Performing Songs and Stories in My Head

(DISCLAIMER: This post isnt about schizophrenia or any mental defect as the title might suggest)

Commuting is one of the necessary evils that plague us who have no cars/drivers/money for cabs. Whether it’s in a hot/humid/wet jeepney, a sardine-packed MRT or the long torturous bus ride through EDSA/NLEX/SLEX

And anyone who does this everyday nods their head vigorously.

But aside from the constant irritants (loud and/or smelly people, berzerk drivers, horrendous-its-not-funny-anymore traffic), one of the things that I absolutely dread is the inevitable boredom that comes while I’m on the road. I can only look at billboards for so long, and I get nauseated if I even dare to read. And don’t get me started on the choice of music/tv shows/movies of bus drivers

That is why I sincerely thank whoever invented portable music, because you probably saved my sanity (or whatever is left of it). Yes, I owned a discman and a walkman at one time or another (for those of you too young to remember, a discman is a circle-shaped thing that played CDs and a walkman is a rectangular box that played radio and cassette tapes)

And how do I even begin to thank Apple for giving us ipods? Anyhooo….

I’ve gotten to the point when even just listening to music is not enough. So I came up with this “game” where each song has a 4 minute short story attached to it.

A Paramore song is the first song a shy, young girl ever performs in public and she rocks it out to her heart’s content while the boy who payed no attention to her suddenly sees her in a different light

A Switchfoot song is the soundtrack to a guy walking around the city, with existential thoughts drifting through his mind, until there is a sudden downpour and the camera cinematically pans out

A Broken Social Scene song is being played by the DJ in a party and everyone is dancing and drinking and laughing, while a wallflower is slinking on the sides

A Damien Rice song is being written by a “bad boy” type who is trying to suppress his “sensitive side” but it comes out in the songs that he writes

A The Strokes song is being played in a seedy bar by a cover band that can’t seem to break into the big leagues

And it goes on and on and on

Doing this combines two things that I love: good music and making up stories in my head. It gets me out of having to be irritated with my seatmate who is loudly taking advantage of unli calls  or the fact that the vehicle hasn’t moved in 10 minutes as if we’re in a parking lot.

Try it sometime and extend your life a few more hours just because you didn’t give in to the stress of commuting

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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