Monday, December 31, 2007

It's Just Another New Year's Eve



Bottles of Champagnes, Beers and Bourbons

Red, White & Blue Balloons,

Caviars, Cigarettes and Cons.

New Year's Eve.

Baboons and Buffoons romp in smoke- filled rooms.



Anyway, if you want to drink and be merry tonight, DON'T DRIVE.

Treat your Lady to a night of romantic Carriage Ride in the snow and have those ice- cold Bud Light in hand instead...





Oops.


Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Crap Mentality

Wanna know the reason why the Police took a long time to release the result of their very thorough investigation as to the exact origin of the Glorietta Mall Blast?

It was because of the pressure that they got from the Special Agents of the FBI who helped them gather the pieces of evidence in the blast site and want the report suppressed until they got clearance from their superiors in Quantico.

But the PNP Leadership in a rare show of defiance to Uncle Sam and probably bitten by the Patriotic Bug, released the result of their investigation anyway since they were afraid of the consequences that their findings will do to the lives of the more than 90 million Filipinos living here and abroad.

The PNP Leadership doesn’t want themselves to be caught literally and figuratively with their pants- down especially when it comes to National Security. They have learned their lessons from past experiences when all kinds of crap were thrown at them from all angles by angry Filipinos for every major Poop- pas (read- faux pas) that they committed . They want to redeem their image and the trust of the crappy Pinoy Nation.

And so they did the unthinkable and revealed that the explosion in Glorietta Mall was the result of methane gas accumulation in the basement of the high- end mall.

Since methane gas was found to be the primary culprit, Western Scientists and Terrorist Mad Doctors are now looking into the matter with rabid determination on how they overlooked this gas in the past and are now working double-time in an insane race to produce the newest and most destructive kind of weapon of mass destruction known to man.

And we all know that methane can be found in sh*t and it doesn’t help us Pinoys that the PNP ruled that the blast originated from a septic tank in the ground floor of the mall. It speaks volumes about the secret activities of the Zobel de Ayalas as well as about US.

In fact, now and more than ever, Filipinos are now being analyzed and scrutinized all over the world--From boarding airplanes to going to the bathrooms to shopping in supermarkets to dining in restaurants to our ethnic diets to every aspect of our daily gossiping lives, you can bet that Big Brother is watching our every move.

Suddenly the world took notice and is now on red alert, foreign governments now have drawn secret protocols to deal with all the Filipinos comings and goings in their respective countries. This is the dawning of a new age where the New World Order is now secretly called The Filipino Watch.

The recent kidnapping of 8 Filipino sailors by Somali Pirates is just the latest proof of these. For years these lawless elements were just contented on preying on small- time fishermen until one fateful day this year and now wants to join the ever- growing bandwagon. Thanks to satellite TV and the ever- present Media conglomerates.

They accidentally learned about the news in one of those daring raids they have mastered bordering on perfection, in this particular case on MV Yellow Submarine, a Liberian- registered fishing vessel in the high seas. The leader of the pirates while attending to a call of nature in the Captain’s Cabin was able to watch the hyperactive CNN correspondent reporting about the explosion in Makati City, in the Philippines.

He had an epiphany and decided to plunge into action when the chance arises. They know from experience that Filipino Seafarers inhabit the Seven Seas and so they seized the first ship that they saw and loo and behold got what they wanted.

Rumors has it that the Pinoy Crew Members were released unharmed not because the Philippine government paid ransom or one of the Superpowers threatened them to kingdom come. They were freed only after having all 8 of them Pinoy Seamen in their months of captivity somewhere in the Indian Ocean to take a sh*t in specialized containers complete with vacuum sealed covers that they’re planning to ship and sell to Iran wherein the present regime will run a test on the promise of this new material. It will also help in the process diffuse the flak the Iranians are getting nowadays because of their nuclear ambition in the volatile Middle East. Iran now thinks that they can ease the pressure by switching from a nuclear program to a new source of raw energy.

Even Japan who once upon a time sent a lot of container vans full of sh*t (e.g. adult & baby diapers) to the Philippines wants us to return the favor. The government should look into this and it’s probably in the recent Japan- Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) proposals that they submitted. We should take advantage of this opportunity since its not easy to give the Japanese a lot of sh*t and be paid for it in the process. But expect the usual crap and opposition from the traditional Left like Ka Satur and his cohorts in the House of Representatives since they will say it will be disadvantageous for us selling our national treasures to Japanese Imperialists.

By the way, the Japanese are looking into testing and using our sh*ts as a valid alternative to the volatile nuclear wastes that they import and recycle from France to power their Industries as they take on the world in the next century.

But the French are not bitter about this since they know that they can sell more perfumes to the world because of this development. They just sigh in very Frenchy fashion and indifference to let them Japs have their sh*t and .....

In fact to the glee of the GMA administration, the French Government in cooperation with the House of Dior is in the process of donating thousands of surplus designer portable toilets to the Philippines that will help many Filipinos in the countryside who has no access to decent potty chairs while performing their daily rituals.

Our Spratly Islands playmate, China is still trying to figure out on how it seem that Pinoy sh*t have more power than Chinese sh*t. They’re doing some nerve- wracking experiments in Guandong on some hapless political prisoners as guinea pigs on why a diet of 3Bs (Balut, Betamax and Bagoong ) is more explosive than all the exotic ingredients that is the staple of Chinese Cuisine combined.

In fact, some enterprising Chinese are now manufacturing fake materials in knock-offs Abaca- laced aluminum drums labeled Pilipino Scraps in Szechuan for export to third world countries.

So, the modern Chinese Philosophy that if you can’t join ‘em, fake ‘em prevails, in this case. It is the Tao, the New Way of getting even with an upstart like the Philippines shaming a country that has prided itself of being the center of civilization that dates back to thousand of years.

The Arab Countries are also now worried and have issued edicts and decrees that all Filipinos toiling in the desert are obligated to take their shit in specialized crap bags to be handed over to the elements of their State Security every morning before they go to work in their vast oil fields. They’re actually doing everything in the labs find a way to sabotage the economic potential of the Pinoy Crap that will put the OPEC out of business with help from former East German and Soviet Scientists in their employ.

The Royal Houses are also wary of the priceless Pinoy crap falling into the wrong hands and have now imposed curfews on Filipinos working in their Kingdoms, Sultanates and Emirates since the CIA have uncovered documents in Iraq and Afghanistan that pertains to Osama Bin Ladin’s order to all Al Qaeda members to look, find and spirit away every Juan, Pedro and Andres that they could find wandering the sandy streets at night into the secret confines of their hideouts in the arid Arabian Deserts.

Reports coming from the sources of CNN veteran reporter Cra(p)stiane Amanfart that the terrorists are now studying the feasibility of making a more powerful and destructive alternative to the current Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that they manufacture and use against the US- led Forces in Iraq that made many people in the White House’s Comfort Rooms uneasy. They’re testing a hybrid form of combining Camel’s droppings to the Pinoy poop.

The US Army are taking these reports seriously and are now conducting tests in their secret underground testing grounds in the Nevada Desert of the same materials that were scooped by their agents posing as Handymen from various Filipino Immigrants Households in Continental America. NASA Scientists have revealed that this Flip materials could fuel the sending of manned space missions to some galaxies far, far away in the not-so-distant future.

Even the Department of Homeland Security now has a directive that was recently relayed to the US Embassy in Manila that as a precondition of granting US Visas to Filipino applicants, they were made to swear under pain of revocation of their papers that they will have to empty their bowels first before boarding any aircraft bound for the United States as well as refrain from bringing materials into the US that can be use in the making of these potentially dangerous explosives. This did not sit well to many Filipino Tuyo, Balut and Bagoong smugglers.

From the looks of it, the Filipino sh*t due to its high - grade power potential and promising capabilities, is now a prized commodities in all the legal and illegal markets of the world. I now dare say, that the Pinoy’s sh*t is now the new uranium/ plutonium that will power the world to the future. It is now considered to be the new “gold” standard where all precious things will be measured.

The PNP investigators without them knowing it have just started the ball rolling for the world to engage in a dangerous poop race. Now, everybody wants a piece of us, yes everybody wants a piece of our sh*t.

And by that, I say, that when it comes to B-Shiting, WE Filipinos are up there with the best.


Note: Well, I’m really sorry folks, if this post is nothing but just a lot of B.S.

Poop Script: Hey, you people with the dirty minds, B.S. stands for Bill’s Sh*t, oks?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hail India!

"If there is one place on the face of this Earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when Man began the dream of existence, it is India."

- Romain Rolland
French Philosopher 1886-1944



Click on
Indian Contribution to the World if you want to be enlightened...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Geeks are No Freaks

I have reached my level of incompetence and I’m sure Mr. Peter whose Principle I first encountered when I was in high school two decades ago when I got hold of his book from Ol’ GrandPa’s bookshelf is probably grinning in his grave and probably saying, I told you so?!

You see, my desk top computer crashed and with it all my files gone kaput (or until I find my recovery discs from the heaps of CDs scattered all over the apartment) -- and with the meltdown goes thousands of my personal stuffs from pictures to writings to videos to music that dates back to about three years ago.

Damn Windows, I’ll probably switch to Mac. So, PC or Mac anyone?

Good thing I was able to back them up in my laptop, actually not all of them. But it's OK.

Some files I was able to save in CDs and some on-line. But it’s better than nothing, eh? Maybe it’s about time to buy an X- drive, huh?

Yeah, one of the reasons I made & maintain several websites was to back up my stuffs for free. Thus, I have several accounts with Blogspot, Tripod, Multiply, Photobucket, Picture Trail, My Dear Diary, Album Town and so on and so forth.

And they were up to the task and I thank the Geeks for that.

Meanwhile, please excuse me while I perform CPR on my CPU.


Note: Visit Mach & Me for a glimpse of the new $1.5 Million Limited Edition Lamborghini Reventon Supercar.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Leader of the Band



Believe In Me

If I could ever say it right
And reach your hostage heart
Despite the doubts you harbor
Then you might
Come to believe in me.

The life I lead is not the kind
That gives a woman peace of mind
I only hope someday you'll find
That you can believe in me.

Those other loves that
Came before
Mean nothing to me anymore
But you can never be quite sure
And will not believe in me.

Too many hearts have been broken
Failing to trust what they feel
But trust isn't something
That's spoken
And love's never wrong
When it's real.

If I could only do one thing
Then I would try to write and sing
A song that ends your questioning
And makes you believe in me.

Too many hearts have been broken
Failing to trust what they feel
But trust isn't something
That's spoken
And love's never wrong
When it's real.

If I could only do one thing
Then I would try to write and sing
A song that ends your questioning
And makes you believe in me
Oh, you can believe in me.



Dan Fogelberg

(1951- 2007)




Note: He was one of my favorite singers/ songwriters way, way back in time; when the acoustic guitar was my best friend; his songs were the staple in those endless drinking sessions with old friends outside our boarding house in Rawis, Legaspi City as well as while serenading some really lovely girls under the moonlight along the shores of Albay Gulf in the Philippines.



The Official Website of Dan Fogelberg

Friday, December 14, 2007

Odd Couple




Rustom Padilla & Carmina Villaroel


Separated at Birth? Nah, Separated in Life.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Don't Stop Believing



I first heard of the rumor that he will be Journey’s new lead singer several months ago. I was skeptical at first not because of his talent but because I never thought not even in my wildest dream that one of my favorite rock bands, Journey will pick somebody outside of the Continental United States much less a Filipino as their new lead singer.

It was the stuff of urban legends but it turned out to be true, in fact too good to be true--that it was guitarist Neal Schon who found him through YouTube and contacted him and invited him to audition for the band.

Here’s Neal Schon in his own words,

“I was frustrated about not having a singer,” explains guitarist Neal Schon, “so I went on YouTube for a couple of days and just sat on it for hours. I was starting to think I was never going to find anybody. But then I found The Zoo and I watched a bunch of different video clips that they had posted. After watching the videos over and over again, I had to walk away from the computer and let what I heard sink in because it sounded too good to be true. I thought, ‘he can’t be that good.’ But he is that good, he’s the real deal and so tremendously talented. Arnel doesn’t sound synthetic and he’s not emulating anyone. I tried to get a hold of him through YouTube and I finally heard from him that night, but it took some convincing to get him to believe that it really was me and not an impostor.”





And so Arnel Pineda, the lead singer of the Philippines' band The Zoo was named by Journey as their new lead singer on their website dated December 5, 2007.

He replaces Jeff Scott Sotto who parted ways with the band this year. Actually, from what I read in various online forums, Journey fans never really embraced him with Open Arms.

Although the band’s original lead singer, Steve Perry will never be equaled both in voice and in talent, let’s hope that Arnel can be at least up to par if not close enough to the standards that Mr. Perry had set for all the singers that will follow in his big, big footsteps.

The dawn of Arnel Pineda's journey to rock stardom begins…


Let's Hear Steve Perry's Faithfully one more time-




Hear Arnel Pineda's faithful cover of the same song with his band The ZOO



Take the journey to Unchanged Melodies for more.

Visit the Official Journey Website

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Booby Trap


Mary Carey, the Porn star who once challenged the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenneger for the governorship of Cali-Foo-Nyaah is on the news again and she's planning to auction her recently removed breast implants for charity, the Breast Cancer Research.

How’s that for 15- minutes of Fame in the guise of a good cause, huh?

No, she’s not done with it though, she’s gunning for a bigger and better(?) pair of Bs from 36D to 36 DDDs. I don’t know what’s with some men err women in this case where they want to change their God- given assets to monstrous proportions and yet it’s not even that good nor better nor beautiful than its former size err self.

I guess we could put all the blame on Pamela Anderson for making Silicone implants the in- thing since her Boobwatch err okay, Baywatch days and Tommy Lee Sexcapades.

Heck, even Borat wants a piece of her cake and eat it too. We can’t blame him though for aiming for one of America’s iconic Bombshell. I’m sure it will benefit his movie sequel, this time his quest for Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Kaboobsthan.

It’s just Melon-dramatic if you ask me of women who wants to aspire for a far Bigger Future than what nature has given them. To each her own I guess but I say just be thankful with what you have. As for me, I’ll always go for the natural. Peace!

Here’s an example on why breast implants should be banned…



New entries on--

Rhapsody in Black
Guitar Pick

Mach & Me
The Filipino Flash

Unchanged Melodies
Guitar Pick

Medicine Pearls
The Role of Antibiotics and Nasal Steroids in Acute Sinusitis

Monday, December 03, 2007

From Me to YOU

My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.
~Graycie Harmon





The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.

~Honoré de Balzac


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!



From your Prodigal Son. :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Muppet Show


Yes, it was a great show indeed, the attempted power- grab headlined by aspiring action- drama star Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his sidekick cashiered Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in the Philippines’ Financial district last Thursday morning.

It began as a promising day of film shoot in a very nice location for them, complete with a script that will give Hollywood movies a run for their money; From the synchronized court room walkout to their dramatic march under the rain towards their objective in Makati , ably backed by a supporting cast of personalities from the Left, Right, Clergy, Civil Society and even the Senior Citizenry.

Their fans applauded on the sidelines as every thing seems to be working according to plan and the show is destined to be a box office hit with no less than a glorious romp in the mecca of make believe that is Malacanang as a fitting award.

The supporting casts were no pushovers either. They were the crème de la crème of the political fantasy world--

--Characters like JV Bautista, Argee Guevara, Ex- VP Teofisto Guingona, Bibeth Orteza, Linggoy Alcuaz, Former UP President Dodong Nemenzo, Herman Tiu Laurel, Day Olaguer- Montayre, Eillen Tordesillas, Fr. Robert Reyes and Bishop Julio Labayen just to name a few who once upon a time were from the opposite ends of the political spectrum and normally do not see eye-to- eye with each other but have now joined forces and have put their great minds together in this epic production for a shot at full stardom and the ultimate prize of being on top of the Filipino pecking order.

Yes Sirs and Mesdames, way up there over the heads of ordinary Filipinos like you and me who they deemed were not bright enough and enlightened enough to know and understand the real state of the nation.

You see, these sorts of characters and clowns who fashioned themselves as worthy alternative to the tenant of that big house by the Pasig River were themselves a bunch of shameless shams. They are forever part of the so- called elite circle of patriotic Flips planning and producing one telenovela after another from the time the real McCoy was flown into Hawaii, USA instead of Paoay in Ilocandia by the US Navy Pilots who misheard (he-he) the former for the latter to the present height (oops, no pun intended) of the Gloria administration.

And mind you, knowing the extent of the knowledge of geography by the Americans where about 4 in 5 of its citizens can't even find their great nation on a map, I am not surprised at all on why the late strongman in his moment of weakness in '86 was spirited out of the country to do the Hula instead of being brought to the waiting arms of his Genuine Ilocanos up north to sing his favorite Pamulinawen.

By the way, these elite circle members whose track records can speak volumes about their nature and true colors will not stop until the day they die of trying to achieve their long cherished dream of subjugating the beautiful people of the 7, 107 islands nation to their corrupted version of the gospel.

Well, Get Rich or Die Tryin' eh? Rapper 50- cent proved that it can be done in the HipHopDom, so the logic goes that it can also be done in FlipDom- Not!

I am not a fan of PGMA but I would rather have her at the helm of the nation than these cretins and the shadowy group that they represent. That old Maoist doctrine that power comes from the barrel of the gun doesn’t hold water to me as well as to the millions of Filipinos time and again.

Otherwise those who have attempted and tried the same tactics in the past would have succeeded by now. I say, you can say anything and everything about our failures and shortcomings as a race but Filipinos don’t tolerate Utak- Pulburas in our midst.

These political junkies masquerading as saviors of the unenlightened Filipinos have once again done a great disservice to our country by resorting to this kind of blind adventurism obviously without thinking of the consequences of their actions to the lives of the long suffering population who are already burdened by their daily struggle to eke a living. They once again have done things that will cause havoc to our already stagnant economy just to advance their own naked interests.

Anyway, nobody else could have written a better script fit for the silver screen that could have earned a huge payback in the end. What with a young disgruntled ex- soldier that was catapulted to the Senate by virtue of the 11 million votes he got from the “intelligent” Pinoy voters in the lead role and a "charismatic" West Point graduate and a former Commanding General of the elite Scout Rangers as his sidekick, they can do no wrong or so it seems.

It was a surefire formula for a blockbuster that was supposed to break all the existing records of Philippines Cinema if you ask me. But the beautiful script received an “X” rating from the hands of the board of censors to the horrors of the writers, actors and producers alike.

And so the action- thriller was hastily re-written by the local enforcers that contributed to the unexpected ending that turned a promising action- thriller into a trashy comedy that will put Enteng Kabisote and his minions to shame.

It was a laughable act indeed by Trillanes, Lim and company from the political point of view but the damage to the economy and our already bad reputation abroad as a people was no laughing matter.

And there lies the rub.



It’s a good thing though that the authorities were determined to end the comedy of errors the shortest possible time and handled the situation quite well, the Media’s whining and grumbling notwithstanding.

Actually, the straight shooters in the PNP have done us a great service by sparing us, kibitzers, the agony of having to sit down in front of the idiot box for hours and hours of non- action while trying to laugh at the stale one- liners that these comedians spit from their mouths from time to time.

Long the butt of jokes by the citizenry for being Pulis- Patolas, they should be commended this time for sparing us from that frequent trips to the toilet or for preventing us from having horrible hemorrhoidal eruptions or even experiencing nasty cases of flatulence in the end.

I just hope that these comedians should be taken to task for their misadventures. We don’t need these loonies roaming around town. They should be taken back to the Looney House where they could sing their Looney Tunes till kingdom come without bothering anyone. And throw the keys away for good measure. I’m sure the Philippines will be better off without them.

Oops, please excuse me while I go to the loo.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Come Fly With Me

The Wisdom of Jonathan Livingston Seagull according to Richard Bach--

"How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!"

“Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly.”



So, Come Fly With Me...




n.b.
The Oracle Challenger Bi-plane piloted by Sean D. Tucker was one of the attractions in this year's edition of Thunder Over Michigan. I took this video with my Sony Handy Cam DVD and just learned the other day how to convert them for uploading by using Roxio. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The End of Innocence



Look into the picture and tell me what you see?

This painting entitled Innocence is the work of Fil-Am painter Fred DeAsis currently on exhibit at the Arlington Heights Heritage Museum until January 2008 in Arlington Heights, Chicago, Illinois.

The artist and the museum are now embroiled in controversy after so-called “members of religious- rightist group” asked the museum to shut down the exhibit because they are against the said art work and its message.

The artist said that Innocence is “supposed to describe the pain and isolation of child and spousal abuse”and I can’t understand for the life of me the logic behind the uproar with some people going to the extent of calling the painting, “totally disgusting and shameful.”

As for me it is just the product of the artist’s perception and imagery of the subject and nothing more. It is not even a great painting if we follow the usual standard but it is in no way near the description that some people have hurled at the art work.

From the way I see it and by looking at the demographics of Arlington Heights, it is just a sorry and malicious attempt to discredit the artist perpetrated by some uneducated people, bigots actually whose beliefs are tainted by the biases that they harbor for other races even in this day and age.

Yes, people like these are still quite prevalent in many backwater villages in Uncle Sam‘s America.

Ladies and Gentlemen of Arlington Heights, your behavior in this case is not only revolting but “TOTALLY DISGUSTING AND SHAMEFUL” as well.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Brush Stokes


Awkward landscapes and distant crooked buildings
Bathing nudes and aquamarine rivers
Calloused eyes and women of style
Deadly venomous asps and orange fruitcakes…

Eager brushes by the pale trembling hands
Pained strokes on moldy canvasses
Propped on broken easels in a grey-wallpapered studio
Showcasing the best works that I can do…



Blue trees on emerald forests
Overlooking the impressive blotchy- paintings
Inside the soft iodine-colored show room
Waiting for the chance for the final slap on the chin!



Resplendent smiles from the eyes of a mad man
Standing up against the world in soiled ragged clothes
Trying to savor the taste of yellowed moments
In hushed phantasmagoric silence…




I dreamed of Cézanne
But the colors and stars are far from anything,
And the people are not themselves
So, I wept in throbbing shame and heartfelt sorrow...

note: 1st published in Two Moon Quarterly c.2002
Voices.Net Anthology c. 2002

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rock Report


Today is the 10th Anniversary of the “mysterious” death of the flamboyant front man, Michael Hutchence of the Aussie band INXS.

Although they were not that “big” in the Philippines during that time as they were more famous Down Under and Europe, I was familiar with some of their songs like Original Sin, Disappear and The Stairs just to name a few because I’ve read about them in those small Php 5.00 “Song Hits“ (Yes, fellow music freak, Jingle and Moptop were long dead in the late 80s and early 90s) and of course, with the help of that FM radio from far away Naga City.

Come to think of it, the FM stations from Naga have a better and stronger reception in Tiwi to this day than the radio stations from Legaspi for Tiwi is actually located in the “other” Albay- Camarines Sur Provincial Boundary wherein the farthest barangay, Mayong is just separated by a bridge from the Partido area which comprises the towns of Sangay, Goa, Tigaon, San Jose, etc. and also the home of the Fuentebella political clan of Camarines Sur. Hey, that's Bicol Trivia for you folks.

Anyway, INXS (IN Excess) was formed in Australia in 1977 and attained global success in the 1980s with some of their songs landing in the Billboard's Charts.

The surviving members are still around though and making “new” music with JD Fortune who became the lead singer after winning the title in the Rockstar: INXS contest a couple of years ago over runner- up Marty Casey (Where are you now?) and Pinoy Migs Ayesa, among others in a popularity contest determined by the band members themselves and television viewers.

But they will never come close to the Michael Hutchence Era as far as the die-hard and faithful INXS fans are concerned.



By the way, my lovely girlfriend at that time, gave me a cassette tape of their album, X when she came back from Australia shortly after winning the Miss Philippines- Australia Pageant (Oops, sorry about that ****). The album includes one of my favorite songs from the band, By My Side.






R.I.P. and Rock On in Rock & Roll Heaven, Michael!


n.b.

You can visit the INXS’ website and read their tribute to Michael Hutchence,here

Or you can visit the online guest book and profess your undying love for him and his music, here

Visit Unchanged Melodies
and Rhapsody in Black for more of their music.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Like Serendipity for Chocolate

Serendipity 3, that high- end restaurant in the Upper East Side of Manhattan famous (?) for its extravagant and expensive desserts that could make even the most impatient New Yorker to toe the line, I mean to queue for hours for the chance to have a seat in its luxurious chairs and a chance to taste its world- famous desserts was ordered closed by the health authorities until they can literally clean up their act and place to satisfy its stringent guidelines.


Yes folks, this is the same restaurant that offers a $1,000 sundae named Golden Opulence that requires a 48- hour advance notice from patrons and also the world record holder in Dessert-land as far as the people in Guinness (yup, not the beer) are concerned with its $25, 000 Frrrozen Haute Chocolate that has edible gold, top- grade cocoa and shavings of a luxury truffle among its “secret” ingredients.

But it seems that the secret is out with regards to the restaurant’s mouth-watering chocolate desserts. Some of the tightly guarded “secret ingredients” are not so secret anymore if the New York City Health Inspectors are to be believed.

Here‘s why from USA Today on its November 15th issue...


Officials closed the restaurant Wednesday night after it failed its second inspection in a month. An inspector spotted a live mouse and mouse droppings, fruit flies, house flies and more than 100 live cockroaches.

"Both inspections revealed rodent and fly infestation and conditions conducive to pest infestation, including stagnant water in the basement," the department said.



So, this news makes sense to me now why their concoctions were so expensive, after all, not every restaurant can boast of this one-of-a-kind dining experience.

I could only imagine…

Chocolates anyone?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Send in the Clowns

The past days, I’ve been following the news on the Batasan bombing which killed several people including somebody I know from the past and injuring many others but I couldn’t help but notice something---

ISN’T IT FUNNY OR IRONIC that whenever a tragedy or any cataclysmic event occurs, our government officials and politicians alike are scrambling on their heels in a mad dash to have their nonsensical piece of the issue and a shot at the so- called 15 minutes of fame?

Add the Police, Religious Leaders and every Juan & Juana de la Cruzes to the list too.

Here are just some of the examples of how these people can concoct theories that would put Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to oblivion…

GABRIELA ME A BREAK

The Gabriela women’s party Thursday said its representative, Luzviminda Ilagan, could have been the real target of the Tuesday night explosion at the House of Representatives, and not Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar, as the Philippine National Police had theorized.

In a statement, Gabriela pointed out that the PNP sketch of the blast site showed Ilagan’s van as “closer to the blast” than Akbar’s vehicle. It said “this should logically make” Ilagan and its other representative, Liza Maza, the “plausible targets,” especially because the latter’s vehicle was “almost identical” to Ilagan’s.


THE HOUSE CLOWN

He said investigators should consider the likelihood that the explosion that killed four persons including Akbar and wounded 11 others (not 13, as earlier reported), including Ilagan and Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves, might actually have targeted the House as an institution.

“That should be looked into,” De Venecia said when asked in an interview if the bomb attack could have been directed at the House. “If there was a political message that was delivered, that should be looked.


FOOLISH CHARACTER

"If you would think, why [a] remote controlled bomb and not [a] timed device? If I were the one [behind the blast], ibig sabihin may target ka [this means you have a target], you would explode the bomb when target is near," said Barias, noting that Akbar could have been the nearest to the motorcycle where the bomb was attached.

"We will also look into that possibility," said Barias when asked about members of the Magdalo as suspects.


THE LEFT IS RIGHT

"It is obvious that national security is getting worse and we have many reasons to believe that the government is making it so, as a premise for another crackdown against the critics of the regime, amend the anti-terror law and declare a state of emergency," KMP chair Rafael Mariano said.

According to Pamalakaya chairman Fernando Hicap, the group was not discounting the possibility that "agents of the state" were behind the blast.


SENILE SENSATIONS

Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel echoed Villar's reaction and said that the administration should “identify, arrest, and prosecute” those responsible so that the people's confidence on the state would be restored.

“[President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] must be warned against doing a Musharaf, else more problems ahead,” Pimentel said in a text message.

Senator Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal called for “an independent commission to be formed to investigate this incident to avoid any cover-up or whitewash.”

“What is obvious is that this attack is part of a grand scheme. Is this part of the plot to divert attention on tomorrow's [Wednesday’s] impeachment hearing, the Senate investigation on the payola scandal tomorrow as well, and the ZTE hearings? We are not anymore safe. My sentiments go to the innocent victims and their families. Desperate moves indeed,” she said.


THE GAS THEORY ak.a. THE GLORIETTA EFFECT

a. Methane is produced by rotting garbage. The Batasan is full of dirt and trash.
b. Methane is produced by shit, and members of the Batasan are full of shit.
c. Methane is produced in a septic tank. The Batasan is one big septic tank.



These only shows the inherent Kulang Sa Pansin (KSP) attitude, know-it-all character and inborn gossip in everyone of us, Filipinos not to mention our wicked sense of humor.

As a race we love to talk and talk and talk. And we love to speculate on everything and spin the rumor mill to kingdom come...



The tasteless attempts of politicians to ride on this tragedy to suit their agenda makes my blood boil and wished that the bombers should have planted the bombs to the two halls of Congress instead to erase these good-for-nothing bastards from the face of the earth.

It will be the day for rejoicing, imagine the Philippines without these shameless politicians hugging the limelight and pilfering our nation’s coffers dry for their selfish gains. Good riddance, huh?

We can dream, can’t we?

But this is just wishful thinking for it will never happen, not in my lifetime nor in yours folks since based on my experiences alone in dealing with these crocodiles and the Filipino people in all walks of life and I’m sure many of you have the same feelings about this thing, WE CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THEM.

Why?

Because We have a symbiotic relationship with them, and that‘s the painful TRUTH..

CHANGE will never happen as long as we continue to be indifferent to where our country is heading to and as long as we cannot put our money to where our mouth is, we will be at their mercy.

As long as we continue to be a nation of “talkers’ and not “doers” and a race of “Sobra sa Dada, Kulang sa Gawa“, they’re here to stay.

As a people, We are only good in words but not in deeds. We are only good in criticizing everything in our surroundings but in reality when given the chance, we will just go on with our business quietly and try not to meddle in the issues confronting our day to day lives. We have these notion inside ourselves, “Mahirap makialam, madamay pa ako.” And this is one reason why "real justice" will forever be elusive in the Philippines.

But if we really want something to change, we do need a REVOLUTION but not the kind that we have seen, experience and doing so far--

--A hollow Call for a change in leadership and system is not the answer nor joining the decades-old armed struggle can solve the rut that we are in as a nation and as a people.

The TRUE REVOLUTION begins INSIDE US,

…But it is always easier said than done.

So expect the world to continue to call our country as the sickest man of Asia and frowned upon as a race.

We just need to live with it and "enjoy" it in the process.

That’s life.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lea Salonga in Tarrytown, New York

Despite having to run almost two miles from the other end of the Terminal to catch the Northwest Airline Flight from Detroit- Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to La Guardia having missed our original morning flight earlier, we were still in a very good mood.

And flying all the way from Michigan 2 days before the event and then “hitching” a ride from the Bronx to Tarrytown, New York on the day of the concert with old friends in tow in exchange for the promised prime concert seats, we were in cruise control.

The uneventful 30- minute trip on the slow, lazy road to this little picturesque village on the eastern shore of the Hudson river did not dampen our enthusiasm a bit. We arrived at historic Tarrytown at quarter past seven of a cool and chilly evening of November 2. We were in high spirits in anticipation of a wonderful evening of music at the Tarrytown Music Hall.

Yes, we traveled far for the much- awaited concert of Broadway Star and Tony- Award Winner Lea Salonga in this side of Westchester County, New York.

As we walked from the parking lot, braving the wind chill that was gnawing at our bodies and numbing our skin, I couldn’t help but notice that Tarrytown is really quite old, small and dark compared to the other places that I‘ve been to.

Tarrytown has that distinctive air of the old world with clusters of Victorian and Gothic revival houses built in the late 1800s and early 1900s lining its narrow streets . And what with Sleepy Hollow just a stone’s throw away only added to its allure and mystique, at least for a history buff like me.

In fact, pictures of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman suddenly materializing out of nowhere circled in my mind as I turned the uphill corner towards the venue. But tonight, Washington Irving’s character from his classic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will take a back seat to the Lady of the Night.

As we neared the Music Hall, we suddenly realized that Tarrytown has turned up into a Pinoy Town. In every street and corner, bar and cafe, store and restaurant, one could see and hear the unmistakable sound and presence of the Filipinos who came in full force.

This I can say, Filipinos really know how to party and could be counted upon to support a very talented kababayan as she tries to wield her magic again in Uncle Sam’s America. There were a lot of American fans too who flew in from as far back as Texas and California. Some even drove for hours from Canada and various places in the east Coast. Majority of them of course came from New York and neighboring New Jersey.

They all came with one purpose and one purpose only-- to hear once again this song bird who have captured the ears of the world since she was 17 when after a global search she was chosen to essay the role of Kim in the hit musical Miss Saigon to which she never looked back.

The Music Hall on Main Street was built in 1885 and is one of the oldest theaters in Westchester County where various luminaries from US Presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft & Woodrow Wilson) to Legendary Musicians (Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, etc.) among others have once graced its hallowed grounds.

THE CONCERT

The concert did not start on time although the musicians were on stage before the 8pm call time but since a lot of people are still pouring in and a lot of people were also queueing for the restrooms, the musicians bid their time until Bjorn Olsson the Executive Director of the Music Hall appeared on stage to welcome everybody with a crisp and effortless “Mabuhay!” which he confessed he learned a few minutes before he went up the stage.

He proceeded to his short and concise speech and finally called on Lea Salonga who casually sauntered on the stage in a simple but elegant black pantsuit, went for the microphone and that old familiar lines from Stephen Sondheim’s SOMETHING'S COMING came out flowing like a cool breeze into the warm night air.

Could be, who knows?
…If I can wait, something’s coming, I don’t know what it is, but it’s gonna be great…

It was a very appropriate opening number for Lea and surely an omen of things to come for the mesmerized audience who erupted into thunderous applause at the end of the song from West Side Story.

After greeting her Kababayans in the audience, she shared to us that it was the first time for her to hear somebody who is not a native speaker who pronounced “Mabuhay” correctly and opined that as a Filipino she doesn’t want to hear Mabuhay being butchered to the delight of the large Filipino crowd.

She then told us that for our listening pleasure she had put together songs “that I personally enjoy, songs that has in one way or another have been associated with me.”

And this being her first concert in many, many months she wanted it to be special and added to the audience‘s amusement “you have no idea how it feels to sing without having to cry! All of you who have seen Les Miz over the last 7 months know what I mean” in obvious reference to her role as the tragic Fantine in the Broadway revival of Les Miserables where she brought back to life the character that Daphne Rubin- Vega killed.

People just can’t get enough of her as the cameras kept on flashing without let- up prompting her to ask the concertgoers to go “easy on the cameras” and revealed that her “eyesight must have graded more, from the ‘strobing’” and she might “have an epileptic attack” in the process although she quickly added that she doesn’t have epilepsy but she doesn’t want to “start that right now, seriously” and politely asked us to just “relax, sit back and enjoy the show.”



Lea Salonga’s voice is so pure that when she sang I’VE NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE from the Musical Guys and Dolls; it’s like hearing the confession of a young and innocent girl where one can really feel the simple yet heartfelt message of the song.

Then she reminisced about her early years as a performer wherein she shared that she used to sing on top of the table to the delight of her mother and can still vividly remember her first standing ovation at age 8 in a “blue dress and white cardigan and suffering from allergy attack” on the day of her audition and landing the lead role for Repertory Philippines’ production of Annie The Musical that eventually paved the way to her pursuing a career in show business.

She sang TOMORROW in an up-tempo manner and got away with it. She sang it in a way that one couldn’t help but think that the song was and still magical in Lea’s capable hands after all these years. It was well- applauded and I’m sure many in the audience were having flashbacks of that cute little girl singing this very familiar tune on black and white TV many, many years ago and half a world away.

The star of the night admitted that even after years of being in the business, “there’s still quite a few roles I’d like to play. Hopefully, one day I’ll get the opportunity” as she rendered a haunting and beautiful rendition of I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar and made a very good case for herself for the role of Mary Magdalene. If only Andrew Lloyd Webber was in the audience…

Ms. Salonga paid homage to Mr. Lloyd Webber by declaring that she found the very talented songwriter to be “incredibly prolific” and confessed on a role she covets most of her life as well as showed her wit in the process to the delight of everyone--

“A role that I always had my eye on from when I was quite young but even at my age now…Fine, I’m 36! But I still look darn hot!”

And added feeling intimidated by the role despite coveting it badly.

“Even though I’m older than the person upon whom the show was based when she passed away. It’s still a part of musical theater canon for female singers, it intimidates me incredibly and I am not yet brave enough to tackle her on” but swiftly added that when the right time comes, she’ll be able to handle them like the rest.

YOU MUST LOVE ME from Evita the Movie came next and it’s not even fair to Madonna to merit a discussion here of the vocal discrepancies between her and Lea.

Lea Salonga’s voice can melt the heart of any strong man and she surely is capable of capturing the hearts of a thousand Perons, too. Evita is one role that she can do without question, if you ask me. I am sure the people who heard her sing live tonight and the ones who have heard her before will surely agree with me.

And she shared to us a funny little secret about a role that,

“I’ve wanted sooooo bad that while I was in Miss Saigon I kept dropping hints & not very subtle ones either“... to Cameron Mackintosh, perhaps?

“Yeah, I’d like to play Eponine in Les Miserables.”

And her ploy was amply rewarded when--

“I was very fortunate to be asked not too long after I left Miss Saigon to be a part of the big production “ and sang the most applauded song of the night that merited a standing ovation from the crowd.

It was her audition song for Miss Saigon, ON MY OWN.

Then she sang the Tagalog song, HAHANAPIN KO that was composed by Jose Mari Chan and popularized by Anthony Castelo in the 1980s and dedicated the song to “all the Filipinos that have left the country and still love our Motherland.”

Buckets of tears flowed from the Pinoy concertgoers as her smooth and soulful rendition of the ballad touched the hearts of so many of us, Filipinos who have not been back in the old country in years. The song and the tears became a form of catharsis for many of us because not only does it link us to our past, it also reminded us of Home…

Her solemn version of SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME from the musical Oh, Kay! by the prolific duo, George and Ira Gershwin have added another dimension to the concert with only a guitar accompanying her, the song became even more personal and meaningful…

“Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key…”

Suddenly somebody from the audience sneezed loudly and like the trooper that she is, she blurted out “Bless You!“ in between the song lyrics and went on to sing the song in its entirety without missing a beat even when the audience was now laughing their heart’s out. The sneezing bandit was never identified but surely, nobody would like to be in her/his shoes that night. Ha-ha.

Lea Salonga is an artist who knows how to interact with her audience and she can really play with the crowd.

We all know that she became a Disney Princess not only once, but twice but she explained to us good-naturedly her apprehensions about it--

“My daughter would probably not believe that Mommy got to do that and probably looking at me rolling her eyes!”

You can tell by the way she talk that she’s one proud mother to Nicole as she further confessed that her fears have some basis when she said,

“She’s ignoring me already and she’s only 17 months old!”

She did sing the two Disney songs from Aladdin and Mulan but with just the short Princess Jasmine part of A WHOLE NEW WORLD for the former and a different and more complete version of REFLECTIONS for the latter.

She intimated that she got to record the "long original” version from Mulan but executives at Disney only released the short version for the movie and as a form of “revenge” she always sings the complete version in her concerts.

A parade of beautiful songs highlighted the second part of the show and it was a blast seeing Lea’s expressions change from song to song--

--Her phrasing’s perfect, her diction impeccable and her voice, crystal. Her effortless singing can literally and figuratively take you to a whole new world of musical magic.

She proclaimed that she loved ABBA and one can discern her respect for the immense talent of Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus in the song she chose to sing from the musical Chess.

Her poignant SOMEONE ELSE'S STORY can make you cry unabashedly without regard for anybody.

She can make you high and giggle with her sweet and girlish interpretation of the Kristin Chenoweth’s original “TAYLOR, THE LATTE BOY". One of the most applauded numbers of the night.

WHEN OCTOBER GOES, whose lyrics was written by Johnny Mercer just before he died of cancer in 1976, Barry Manilow composed a beautiful albeit melancholic melody in honor of his friend. Lea gushed how Manilow, known more for his cheesy compositions was able to pen such a beautiful song. She fell in love with the song so much that she included it in her latest album “Inspired.”

You can see the smoke in Lea’s eyes when she admitted that she had her own share of heartaches, too. But she did not give up on love and in the end found the man of her dreams.

She opened her heart to us and dedicated the next song, I STILL BELIEVE IN LOVE from the musical They‘re Playing Our Song “to all the singles out there” and asked them to “never give up on love.”

The very emotional I'D GIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU put the music hall in silence and can still induce goose bumps on our skin, 18 years after we first heard her sing that now classic song from Miss Saigon of what every mother would/can do for her offspring.

The night will not be complete without the song that brought her back to Broadway. Her crystalline voice soared anew as she gave life to the Les Miserables' tragic character, Fantine, in I DREAMED A DREAM...

"But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder. As they tear your hope apart. As they turn your dreams to shame!"

Lea showed us here her versatility as she shifted from one difficult note to another in an effortless show of vocal prowess not to mention her heartbreaking interpretation of the song. She did it with much aplomb to the delight of the audience.

I have never heard Billy Joel’s homage to the Big Apple sang as beautifully as Lea did. In NEW YORK STATE OF MIND, she bared that she will never get away from New York, that no matter what she will always be coming back to New York. She considers the Big Apple as her home away from home.

The medley of SOMETHING WONDERFUL/BEING ALIVE from the musicals The King and I and Company, respectively, have in a way, sum up the wonderful evening with Lea Salonga. I guess you could safely call it a night of enchantment in the enchanted village called Tarrytown.

Her encore of the Beverly Craven original and carrier single of her album Inspired, PROMISE ME was hauntingly touching and was well- received. I can say that she gave justice to the song and own it in the process.

The concert lived up to its promise and it was a night to remember forever. Lea Salonga came aptly prepared to give her fans their money’s worth and she did not disappoint. Her song selections complimented her voice really well. The venue was suited for a more intimate and personal approach and she exploited them to her advantage.




The years have been kind to her, too and she really has matured as a singer and a performer-- confident, poised, witty, charming and beautiful.

And of course, She’s HOT!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Lea Salonga In Concert



From the Tarrytown Music Hall Website:

Celebrated Tony-award winning Star of Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Flower Drum Song as well as the singing voice of Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin ("Whole New World")and in Disney's Mulan ("Reflection"), Lea Salonga's smooth, perfectly modulated singing voice has mesmerized audiences worldwide since that famous day when she walked into the auditions for Miss Saigon as an unknown 17 year old, blew the competition out of the water and instantly became one of mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh's favorite performers. She is also considered by many as the best Eponine in Les Mis ever.

We are incredibly excited to be able to offer our patrons this very rare opportunity to experience Ms Salonga in a solo concert. She will be accompanied by a group of her favorite handpicked musicans.


8 p.m.
Tarrytown Music Hall

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Black Night...



'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.


~William Shakespeare





On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless!--but his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!




It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.


. . . he would have passed a pleasant life of it, in despite of the Devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was--a woman.



*Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



^^Photos from the Halloween Night at the Greenfield Village.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saling Pusa

Nicole Scherzinger

The lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls with a trickle of Pinay hot blood flowing in her veins is going solo and will release her debut album, Her Name is Nicole on November 20, 2007…




Be the judge, jury and executioner if you think she has what it takes to hit the big time as a solo artist and not just another pretty face and hot body who can’t sing…

Here's a video I nicked from AOL Sessions.

Happily Never After


...

Note: If you want to hear her purr some more, just MEOW

UPDATES: Rockamania

The Truth Behind Xanadu

Operation BearCat Chapter I

Master Chef

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sexy Back

Obviously Justin Timberlake never laid his eyes on this specimen when he wrote the song Sexy Back which ended up as the “longest- running number one single of 2006” on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was part of his second solo album Future Sex/Love Sounds.

What do you think ?

Hmmm…..





Blog Update: Rockamania in Unchanged Melodies

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cheap Shot


Just hours after the Glorietta 2 Bombing that killed 9 and wounded more than a hundred Filipinos, Honorable (?) Senator Antonio Trillanes IV sent a message to the media.

However, instead of condemning the people behind the attack, he launched an obvious politically- motivated offensive against the government by accusing some people close to the President of being behind the attack without proof and pieces of evidence to support his accusations.

"I believe the Glorietta 2 mall blast that killed eight and wounded hundred other persons is the handiwork of Malacanang Palace, particularly National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon."

This is a very insensitive action in a very volatile situation on a very sensitive issue that the neophyte Senator has made.

This should be the time where we should not let political intramurals undermine the conduct and result of an on- going investigation.

This should be the time where we should let the investigation run its course since even the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the government of Australia have already offered their assistance in determining the true cause of the carnage in Makati and unmask the culprits. In fact, they're already on the scene as reported by the media.

Is this act, a ploy on his part to pre-empt the result of the investigation or to condition the minds of the people against the government or mislead the investigators or just an ill-advised stab on the proverbial 15- minutes of fame at the expense of the victims and their families?

How low can you get, Mr. Senator?

Read the news here and here

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Josh Groban


Much has been said about the outrageous prices of his concert tickets for the Manila stop of his Awake Tour. Much has been said about the scarcity of the tickets whenever and wherever he performs(In New York City, tickets for his Madison Square Garden Concert were sold out in 20 minutes after the opening bell!). Much has been said about many people not being able to afford them. Much has been said about all the fuzz about him and his songs by the uninitiated.

Much has been said about some fans feeling disenchanted because of the unfortunate situations above.

You can blame the unscrupulous businessmen for their stinky business savvy but blame not the man. You can blame the greedy producers for the unpalatable ticket prices but blame not the singer. You can blame the sharks in the music industry but blame not the entertainer. And you can blame the tone-deaf ignoramuses for their hatred but blame not the person.

In fact, you can also blame his legion of fans worldwide especially the ladies for swooning over his voice and pledging their undying love for the man. You can add to the blame the true music lovers of the world for his success, too.

But make no mistake about it, this man got talent and you can’t go wrong with him.

He is a complete package.


Josh Groban
, the quintessential singer of songs straight from the heart and everyone’s favorite performer is a joy to watch on the stage.

He will heal your wounded heart with his voice. He will caress your spirit with his charm. He will touch your soul with his innocence. He will bare his soul to you with his songs. And he will make you laugh with his silliness, too.

Behind the silky, soaring baritone is a passionate entertainer, a genuine troubadour, a brilliant preacher, a one of a kind showman and a proven healer of the heart rolled into one..


Here’s a teaser, a glimpse of him playing “Remember When It Rained” and hear the voice that’s taking the world by storm for several years now…

video


NOTE: You can view all my clips of his concert (almost an hour of music) and read my review entitled "Wide Awake at the Palace with Josh Groban" at the following websites/ blogs:

Rhapsody in Black

Stage Side and

Unchanged Melodies


...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Autumn



It’s the best time of the year, they say.
Far different from the tropics where I used to play
And it is just a matter of time before I will finally
Realize the beauty that will unfold before my eyes.

They say that it is the time of year that I will remember forever
Where the birds will fly carefree in the azure sky
And warm my heart with their haunting lullabies.

They say that summer is good but fall is better
The weather’s fine and the colors are amazing
And my life will be a-ok and I will be happy.

Deep in my mind,
I almost believed them
Had it not been for one lingering question-

Why does my heart feel blue
In Autumn
When the leaves are turning bright red, orange and yellow?
#


NOTE: If you love the muse, let me take you to:
Inks & Verses

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Weird Two - "King of Nothing"

A long, long time ago I looked into the mirror and was tagged by the “me-me” fever from the Land of the Rising Sun whose strains have plagued the blogger's world for quite some time now and as of this writing I could safely say that there is no end in sight for this affliction nor was an antidote on the verge of discovery nor in the works in the hearts and minds of the people working in the Center for Bloggers Control (CBC).

I could have said the magic word like Alakazam or AbraCadabra!

And voila, I am cured of the me-me curse that is so prevalent in the blogosphere! But no, like the rest I am mandated to do what‘s been expected of me in order to develop a life- long immunity from the disease or until my blog's immune system drops and get a re-infection or relapse.

So here I am toiling, laboring and dragging my suspicious and incoherent mind at six o’clock in the morning, the neurons in disarray from lack of sleep and powered only by Coke. No it's not what you think, you with the dark thoughts and dirty minds. He-he. Yes it's actually that old reliable elixir flowing sweetly from the red aluminum can called Coca- Cola by the disciples of the soda pop world.

It was a bit weird doing err writing some weird stuffs about me for the second time eons after I did the first installment of the task that my blogger- friend from the Land of the Sushis and Animes asked me to do not to mention my spirit waving in and out of consciousness. So, this is my last chance at bat and after strike three, I'm out.

So, what do I do in this case but go to the bathroom and look once again into the mirror as Salamin would like me to and ask my blurry reflection about some things that have been hidden inside my now bloated body a result of the accumulation of toxins from greasy binges of sinful and saturated meals for years.

Secrets that were better left buried in the abyss, dark ones that were lurking in the deep recesses of my complicated mind. Secrets that should not be disturbed even in a fraction of a millisecond of my existence in this wild, weird world that I live in. Lest, an evil force might awaken and like the famed Genie can no longer go back inside the bottle once it was released in our midst.

So here I am staring like Narcissus at the face that I have always known for 37 years and what do I see?

Hmmm, aside from some new freckles that spurted in my face and a few day- old facial hairs. There is really nothing special or odd with me.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

It is the same face that I see every morning when I wake up and walking straight into this enclosure that is part of my daily ritual. A sacred place for me and to most people where you can literally wash and flush the dirt out of your system without fear of being ostracized by society.

Then all of a sudden a weird sensation crept into my being and suddenly I found myself talking to the inner me…

“Are you talking to me? You talking to me?”

---in my best impersonation of the brilliant Robert de Niro’s character in Taxi Driver or maybe you can call it more of that lousy attempt by Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Okay, we can simply put it this way, it’s more of a comedy that can be identical to that comedian uttering the same lines from a forgettable movie, the title of which escapes me.


Weird, huh!

So here’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready now go cat go…

The Book Worm

I am a worm by nature. I could squiggle and wriggle myself in every page and find sustenance in every word and phrase of every wordsmith with a story to tell. I can still remember the stages in my life until I eventually metamorphosed into what I am today.

Let me take you somewhere back in time...

A wide- eyed little man, devouring every Tagalog Komiks that Mama Diay, my Grandma brought home from the neighborhood store, rented for 10 centavos overnight.

Colorful ones printed on cheap papers--Reporter, Holiday, Tagalog, Pioneer, Aliwan and Wakasan just to name a few were my first encounter with “Tagalog” literature.

From them I learned about “Niyebe” (Snow) in the novel Polaris that proved handy if not funny when I went to Manila for my NMAT review at the Ateneo Graduate School in Makati for a reviewer once asked the class about it. Nobody from the Manila- born and raised classmates of mine were able to fathom the deep Tagalog word.

Flashback to somewhere in my past...

A boy earnestly waiting his mother to come home from a seminar from Manila while anxiously awaiting the promised second-hand English Lit Comics bought from the sidewalks of Recto Avenue near Lerma.

Classics like Catcher in the Rye, Adam Bede, Madame Bovary, Silas Marner and The Sun Also Rises were just a few of the handouts that I got from my mother, much preferred than the marshmallows and chocolates from her trips.

Fade into the present and here I am still loving and liking books in any form and sizes and genres.

I once proclaimed that I could stay in prison with books for company and nothing more but that was before I have experienced the raging hormones of manhood but that's another story. Ha-ha.

There’s something weird about the way I read and gobble all those tales though.

If I like a particular author you can be sure that I will read most, if not all, of his works with passion.

So, you will not be surprised that I have read almost all of the works of testosterone-producing word-warriors like Ludlum, Patterson, Griffin, Forsyth, Higgins, Silva, Lustbader, Puzo, Kellerman, Clancy, Grisham, Sheldon, Marcinko and Sandford.

Also add the chic but ass- kicking ones like Patricia Cornwell, Faye Kellerman, Catherine Coultier and Alex Kava. Or like some deep, dark and mysterious like Anne Rice or heart-warmers like Amy Tan.

I recently discovered the SandMan, Neil Gaiman and have read 5 books that he penned already including Anansi Boys, Neverwhere and Stardust that was made into a movie recently.

And of course the Classics which I will never tire of reading ‘em again and again.

The weirdest thing to some people though especially for some American pals, they can’t comprehend me or any other person reading several books on a certain period of time on different topics. They told me that another Pinoy on another floor was doing the same thing. I just told them that we, Filipinos are like that. He-he.

I have a book in every nook and cranny of the apartment, in my car, at work, in the living room and the bedroom, too. NO, I am not a bathroom reader. Don’t ask me why for you will not receive a coherent answer.

I recently finished The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin, Piercing by Ryu Murakami, The Messenger by Daniel Silva, Cross by James Patterson and The Times Atlas of World History.

I am in the middle of Killing Che by Chuck Pfarrer, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The AtoZ of Art, When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro and Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits.

I read a minimum of 5 different books at the same time prompting my landlady to ask me if I could really follow the stories of every one of them. I could honestly say that I do and it's just a matter of mental conditioning. I'm sure everybody is capable of doing this, it just depends on how much time one is willing to waste, eh?

I like it my way and I will continue to do so until my mind becomes senile or otherwise. And if ever I hit the jackpot in the MegaLotto then I will have my books and a cottage by the sea to live my life quietly into the sunset….


The Glutton

If a picture could paint a thousand words...

I am talking about MY recent pictures, people.

By adding the poundage and the flabs in the mid-section you will arrive into a conclusion that I am a voracious eater. But I have deluded myself nowadays that those days will soon be gone for I noticed that I can’t eat all the things on my platter like I used to before.

Don’t get me wrong but I am not complaining and I love it for I‘ve been trying my darndest best to combat the said issue and return to my old fighting self minus several million pounds ago. It also means that less food, less weight, a good way towards a healthy body. That is, if I can help it for most often than not it is way easier said than done.

But who doesn’t love to eat?

Heck, I know a lot of people who tried but failed to curb their appetites. They spent lots of money, tried all sorts of fads and diets and invested in a lot of time to lose some unwanted pounds or kilos to no avail.

There’s a glutton monster in every one of us and by looking around me I can say that they’re winning the war, Bariatric Surgery notwithstanding.

Or I may add that in this part of the world where I am in, obesity is the norm rather than the exception.

Food is cheap, and eating to some people is their stress- buster. And so they cook and cook and eat and eat and they grow huge and huge until it explodes.

Boom! Kaput!

I saw a picture of a local man on TV about a month ago. He was a 900- pounder being lowered in an ambulance by a crane after some really hard work by responding firefighters and paramedics so they could bring him to the hospital. The biggest I have seen so far and after asking him for a guess-timate of his weight was 500 lbs.

Actually, I am a peculiar eater but in the last months or so it even became weirder in the sense that I have developed this habit that if I like a certain kind of food I will gorge on that particular stuff for days, weeks and even months until I got sick by just the mention of its name or the sight and smell of it.

For example, I like pizza but Little Ceasars and Dominos no longer work for me which is understandable considering the fact that I have feasted on their Pepperoni too many times in the past. I guess what’s little left of the dough in my system have formed into a very potent antibody that has a Domino effect on the rest of the pizza communities for me. I guess you could say that I finally lost my pizzas. Woohoo!

Same thing with MacDonalds and Wendy’s and Burger King. All fave cholesterol loaders in the past. Their burgers have tasted so bland for my taste buds that I avoided them nowadays like a plague. It is good riddance though since I get to have a moratorium on all that grease finding into my already clogged blood streams.

Even the chips. They don’t’ fall into the right places anymore. All that junk like Doritos and Lays have lost their profound effect on me.

Also, I don't need all that junk so that I could have my humps like Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Give me Bruce Lee's or Manny Pacquiao's physique anytime man. But that needs a lot of Navy- SEAL- like discipline to accomplish and it's only wishful thinking on my part and that's another story. Ha-ha.

Anyway, these things only show and with due apologies to General Patton, in my mind I may finally be winning the Battle of the Bulge, huh?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Someone’s in the kitchen with….

The Bill Collector

I am an avid collector of everything that catches my fancy. I can’t remember when and where it all started. I can safely say that it started long, long ago in a land far, far away. It was back in the Philippines where I grew up and earned my badge of honor, so to speak.

I will share to you some of the treasures or trash that I accumulated through the years that even spawned a website, Rags & Riches so that I could easily track my collections but has since been in a state of neglect. It has not been updated in ages…

Ever since I am a philatelist and numismatist. I could say it runs in the family in this particular case. I like the sight of those rare stamps on the albums that I inherited from my mother and the coins, some really rare ones that I have accumulated in the years of my existence with the help of course of my Dad and Grand Pa‘s own collection that served as the ante in the pot.

I was tempted once to sell some of the coins in the sidewalks of Recto-Quiapo- Avenida- Arranque years ago when I was kind of broke but could not swallow the prices that they offered me. I got one coin alone that could easily fetch in the $300 range last time I checked in the internet.

I am a Coke addict, so I am opening my can of worms err coke for the first time here, just for you guys. I got lots of Coca- Cola memorabilia from cans to tin trays to bottles to toy cars to trash bins to glasses to clocks to playing cards to pre- war Coke magazine and newspaper ads.

Maybe in the future I could ask Coca- cola to help me build my own little red Coke museum which will be open to the public. Red is my color and I am getting red in the face by this revelation. Maybe a sip or two of an ice-cold one can bring me back to my senses.




“Time is on my side….” Yes, I can relate to that Stones' song for I always hear the ticking of time in my hand err in this case in my wrist.

I love watches and I am especially fascinated by the tourbillion and mechanical ones.

I guess you could say that I am a certified watch freak for I even studied how to repair them and have befriended many so- called and self- styled watch experts in the field when I was in the Philippines along the way.

I could easily distinguish and name the brand, make and model of watches from vintage to modern at a glance. And I could tell knock-offs from the real ones in the blink of an eye. A game that an old lawyer-friend working in one of those big law firms on Wall Street in the Big Apple used to play.

I've learned the history of some of the finest ones like the Omega Speedmaster being the first watch on the moon having been worn by Neil Armstrong when he made that one small step en route to history. Names like Abraham Louis Perellet, Breguet and Vacheron+Constantin make sense to me now.



I am no Drunken Master and Jackie Chan can have his bottle and drink it too.

But I can literally swim and drown in alcohols like an insect or maybe drink my sorrows away if I want to--scotch, bourbons, wines, gins, vodkas and beers of every purveyors and makers, I have them in my possession but only fit for the Lilliputians' consumption.

The restless spirits will always be confined inside those miniature bottles for I have no intention of letting them out and into my system.

3K+ and counting….says a lot of booze potential where every bottle can tell you a story.

All these were just a glimpse of what’s inside my dark and moldy warehouse of what I considered personal treasures. A lot has been said but the words will never approximate the memories and thrills and joys and sorrows of the hunt that goes with every single item in my treasure box.

I guess I could weirdly say that I am a collector of the inanities of life. Or I could genuinely say that I am a self- proclaimed collector of dreams and memories…

And just like Napoleon in his moment of indiscretion by crowning himself as the Emperor of France, I now crown myself as the King of Nothing.


P.S.

But what’s really weird was that you, my friends have reached this far reading this piece of idiosyncratic mumbo-jumbos coming from the mind of a somnambulist lost in the twilight zone…

But a person not in his proper state of mind is entitled to some lee-way here. I know that for a fact, for that’s what friends are for in this day and age of Bill Gates and the World Wide Weird Web.

Still, I ask your forgiveness and understanding for my transgressions.

All things considered I am bidding you all, adieu.

P.P.S.

I am in dire need of the precious Z’s in my sleep’s domain after a serious bout with the forces behind the Night of the Living Dead.

Ngork…

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