Something Good

I recently received a wedding invitation from a good friend.  While he proudly tells that I am the first one to have received a copy of the actual invitation, we discussed details of what is to happen and where he and his wife-to-be are in their stage of planning and organizing their big event.  I particularly was engrossed with his answer when I asked him what songs to be played or songs to be sang during his wedding. 

a super cool wedding invite from jb & irene!

It then dawned in me though seem farfetched and unreal circumstance in trying to answer the same question.  What would be the songs to be played in my own wedding if in case?  To be specific, what specific song would be played during the wedding while I walk down the aisle?

My brain seems to have a ready answer to this silly question.  No need for research, no need for review and no need for discussions.  My brain’s ready answer to this is Something Good (the Jonathan Groff version). Listen!

got my would-be simple wedding cake too! mwahaha!

One problem though that I need to resolve.  I need to find the one whom I should get married to! Haha!  And while I await the melodramatic arrival of “the one”, let me continue my doing “something good” on the days and years to come.

My Ash Wednesday 2021 Version

I am a Catholic and last year I had one of the weirdest and rarest observance of Palm Sunday.  The country was already on a strict lockdown due to covid19 and I had to contend myself from hearing the Holy Mass in front of a TV.  And since no one was allowed to go out then, the “palm” that I used was actually an outgrowth of a vine that I plucked from the few pots of plants in my balcony.

attended palm sunday in the comforts of my home as celebrated by the pope last april 2020

palaspas! (that is how we call palm sunday in filipino)

Today is Ash Wednesday.  In the Catholic tradition Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Lenten period.  It is the season of repentance and reflection.  It is also marked by a Holy Mass in which priests or church leaders will make the sign of the cross out of paste made of ash and sacramental oil on the foreheads of the congregants.  Part of this tradition is that ashes are made from the palm fronds that have been burned from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

Since I was lucky enough to have kept the fronds (dried leaves and vine) that I used in last year’s Palm Sunday and because I refuse to go to church due to the crazy scary pandemic, I decided to do my own observance of Ash Wednesday.

Part of my creating my own ash for the celebration of this special day is the symbolic burning of my sins.  I decided to write down on a piece of paper my confessions and burn it at the same time with that of my last year’s Palm Sunday fronds. 

With the thought in mind that “for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return”, instead of placing the formed ash on my forehead, I decided to return the ashes to earth.  I alternatively add the formed ashes into the soil of my plants as a symbol new life with the hopes of a rosy spring for the rest of the year.

glad to have kept that fronds for today’s observance…

I know that my ceremonial version of this day is a total deviation on how a Catholic Ash Wednesday should be observed.  But honestly, while doing what I was doing, I felt free, I felt light and I felt at peace.  And I guess that is what matters on this holy day of Ash Wednesday.

Leron Leron Ea

Leron Leron Sinta is an old Filipino folk song I learned to sing when I was in elementary school.  This fun cheery old tune is a basic song every Filipino child learned during the time when gentle cows and mild water buffalos has started to diminish its presence in the streets of the city. 

I actually wonder what songs does young tots has to learn in preschool nowadays.  I won’t be surprised if teachers nowadays would coach their students Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Haha!  Good thing I am not a preschool teacher because I would definitely teach my young innocent pupils the classic Sophie B. Hawkins song entitled “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover!

Regressing a little and in reference to Leron Leron Sinta, here’s one new cool version I discovered and have been listening to in the past seven mornings.  The Hawaiian version!

Aloha! How cool is that!

Cute Human Beings

It’s the last day of the crazy year.  Let me be very positive today.  I know I failed to post and greet everyone a very Merry Christmas last December 25 that is why I made sure to write something on the last day of the year.

I have been seeing and bumping unto highlights of what has been this tremendous year online.  The internet specifically YouTube has somewhat been my escapism during this scary pandemic year.  My incapacity to explore outside and my inability to socialize personally with my friends and family gave me the opportunity to instead switch to watching sweet and delightful videos on YouTube.  These are the videos that somewhat filled the void of my needing to smile and my wanting to feel pleasant despite the scary contagion lurking outside.

Let me give homage to the cute human beings whom I encountered this year via YouTube.  These are the cute babies, toddlers and kids whose parent’s vlogpost I frequently watch and look forward to during the months that passed. 

They are…

Nitro (the cute baby of Dwaine and Shanta Wooley)

Nitro: cuteness overload

Holland and Stone (of Dustin & Burton Buffalo)

you will definitely be charmed by the chic and trendy Holland and Stone

Zach, TJ and Holly (of ChonaAndMyKids)

these kids’ antics will never fail to put a smile on your face

Uma (of Matthew & Elliot)

Uma the adorable and stylish little sunshine

Leila and Stella (of Ingrid in Bosnia

the cute sister-power of leila and stella

May our new year be as beautiful, as happy, as promising and as full-of-life like these cute human beings!  Happy New Year everyone!

Touched by Disney UK!

Disney UK got a cool and heartwarming Christmas advert!  I am particularly touched and moved by this video ad simply because it features bits of the Filipino qualities and culture. 

Mano:  the gentle placing of the back of the hands of your elders to your forehead is a unique Filipino gesture to show sign of respect to elders

Parol & Parol-Making:  a lantern which is made of bamboo sticks and colored paper is a major Christmas symbol of every household in the Philippines.  And it is a common practice that grade school students would create one as a school project during Christmas season so as to have it hanged in their respective houses.  I made a horrible-looking one myself during my young school days!

Simbang Gabi: a Filipino-Catholic tradition of attending midnight Mass at a nearby Catholic church for 9 consecutive nights prior to Christmas Eve.  And since I am wicked, this is one Filipino tradition that I never get to complete!

Recycling of an old cookie tin can:  Lola-s (translation: grandmothers) around the nation would never throw away metal cookie cans.  These would instead be re-used either as a jewelry box, a sewing kit container, an old photos or greeting cards chest or other similar charms, trinkets and mementos that a usual Filipino lola wants to keep.

Thanks Disney UK!  You moved me.

It’s Not Friday I’m In Love!

It’s not Friday yet but I am already singing this song!

This maybe the only blogpost on the internet where this sweet old song is posted on a different day. I hope you have an awesome day today because I know for sure that you will have a lovely and brilliant Friday tomorrow. 

And yeah, I know I am weird.

An Aborted Grandeur Illusion for a Halloween Costume

When a friend relayed that he read my recent blog post about my Osaka flight cancellation, he knew that one of my agendas in going there was to celebrate and attend again the big Halloween street party in Osaka. He then asked who would I be this time if my Osaka Halloween attendance pushed though.  I simply responded King George.

I have been the Riddler and an Indian Warrior in the past Osaka Halloweens, but I was really looking forward to being the mighty and loony King George this year.  But when my friend further asked why King George, I told him that we Filipinos seem to secretly yearns for a king and has the weird fascination towards noble families.  Though our country is not under a monarchy, we are so in love with kings and queens!

crowned prince of the twisted! hahaha!

 Here in the Philippines, every primary or grade school seem to have coronated their little prince and princess.  Even rich and affluent people featured in society columns in the past were tagged “royals and royalettes”.  And when people are elected to a public office, they have to go around with a whole battalion of body guards to signify how important they are, waving their hands to their constituents as if they are kings and queens of their barrio or little municipalities. 

Classic examples are the effective portrayal of the late dictator Marcos and Imelda who depicted themselves as the modern king and queen of the Philippines.  This outrageous couple thought that it was their obligation to the people to live a fabulous imperial-like lives for the poor. Hahaha!   

Also, we are so fascinated with grand majestic coronations, that we look forward to the annual coronation of the queen of the universe (Miss Universe pageant) and we go extra crazy if the crowned winner is from the Philippines!

Now that I will not go back to Osaka, my friend still further asked what then should I do during Halloween? I told him that as a message to myself, I will have to settle singing the song “You’ll Be Back” by King George in the Broadway musical Hamilton. Hahaha!

You, who would you be this Halloween?

Her Istanbul Is So Much Better Than My Istanbul

In my long-ago adventure in Ciudad de Mexico, there was one influencer (YouTube travel vlogger) whose posts about the city made it easier for me to go around.  Her posts about Mexico City was so helpful during that time that I made it as my reference on where to go, what to visit and how to go about.

This vlogger recently posted her adventures in Istanbul, Turkey.  I was a little swollen with pride to learn that I being a small-time traveler actually came and visited years ahead before she did.  I was secretly hoping that she has read a number of my blog posts about Istanbul for her to use as her travel reference of the city.

inside hagia sophia

But when I watched her posts about Istanbul, I was so envious that I wanted to revisit the city and re-do all my lackluster blog posts. Hahaha!  Her vlogs were so vibrant, so appealing and so alive that though I already have seen, felt and tasted what she was featuring, I wanted to go back, do the same and do the way she does! 

I guess I am just bitter that I could not produce a better feature of Istanbul the way other travel content creators do.  Am I really envious about her work? Or I am just finding an excuse because I really wanted to go back to the grand and splendid Istanbul?!

Let me then post a short clip of my personal experience in Istanbul. 

I hope that re-reading multiple times this blog post would in some way reduce my craving to revisit that beautiful transcontinental city.  And to that lady vlogger – whom I refuse to identify and feature here, hahaha! – I do admit that you really do a better job than I do. 

Let me just then be contented with the powerful saying that: “recognizing one’s own weakness is one of the biggest strengths that one can have”. And yeah, I am so bitter and really wanted to be back in gorgeous Istanbul. Hahaha!

I Wanna…

I hate YouTube today.  Can you just imagine this YouTube thing had the overzealous audacity to suggest a music video on my iPad that would stress, accentuate and lay emphasis on my being solo?!

How could you YouTube?  How could you?! I am so offended because the song’s lyrics is so true in every sense of the word! Hahaha!

Good thing the beat and its remake rendition is so awesome, it indeed made me dance! I’m a goofball and I love Ben Rector by the way.

My Frozen

When someone discusses anything about Frozen, young lads and lassies today would link and associate this to the fearless princess Elsa, her adorable sister and the cheerful Olaf.  Yeah, Frozen would be about the fun charming Disney movie and its sequel based on the fairy tale Snow Queen.

young people’s king of ‘frozen”

Frozen today would also be associated to a now classic seven-year-old song where the snow glows white on the mountain tonight and where the wind is howling like a swirling storm inside. Hahaha! Yeah, it is entitled (who would not know?) Let it Go.

But for me, I don’t associate Frozen to Frozen, the movie.  It is because prior to this film, during my younger years, my brain has been wired, stuck and enthused by an excellent 22-year-old song and a music video masterpiece.

I would associate Frozen to a mystifying lady in a black dress who would mysteriously collapse on the ground and would magically turn into numerous black flying crows.  I would correlate Frozen to a lady who tells us that “love is a bird, it needs to fly, let all the hurt inside of us die

Watch this, this is my Frozen.

Yup, my favorite song in Madonna’s 1998 album Ray of Light is my Frozen. 

But no matter what your Frozen is.  May it be the sensuous song by Madonna or the Let It Go from the movie Frozen, both songs seem to have an interlocking message.  It tells us that we should simply let go because we are considered frozen when our hearts are not open.