Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

mixed emotions

Posted on August 08, 2006 by jimparedes

As I write this, Boboy and wife Bong, Betta and Butch (APO’s managers and friends since high school) are waiting for their flight to go back to Manila. Danny left after the Sydney show since he had stuff to attend to.

I’ve had quite a schedule since last week.

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Flew out of Sydney to Melbourne wednesday last week to join Danny and Boboy for the Kumustahan Tour which started there last friday. The concert was so much fun. At the very least it warmed our tropical hearts and that of the audience that showed up at the grand Hamer hall in this charming city with neurotic weather. Flew out early the next day to return to Sydney to do the Saturday show at tha Capitol theater.

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After four and a half months of not seeing my friends and performing with them, it was quite a treat. That’s really understating it–it was a feast! We were bonded, synched, melded on and off stage and it showed and glowed. We used to have a saying years ago when Michael Jordan and the Bulls reigned supreme in the NBA. Whenever we had a great performance, we would say to each other that ‘we were the Bulls tonight!’ Our shows in Melbourne and Sydney seemed like it to us. It’s great to reap 37 years of friendship and team work and be able to invoke the ‘zone experience’ when we want it.

It was also good to catch up with my friends and reconnect where we left off. We had long heart-to-heart talks. It was quite an eye-opener for them to stay at our place and see me doing chores, driving them (on the ‘wrong’ side of the road at that!) and seeing how our family life has settled in here in this foreign place.

On my end, I must confess that a double whammy bout of nostalgia and homesickness hit me quite hard which got me depressed sort of. I felt I was missing a lot by not being with friends and being home. And even if I know I will be joining them in a few days for shows in Manila, I already feel equally bad about leaving my family behind here in Sydney. It’s a quandary most Filipinos, including Rizal during his time must have felt.

Dalawang daigdig, magkaibang pampang
Pinaghihiwalay ang kambal kong buhay
Kung maari lang sana’y magtayo ng tulay
At sa bawa’t isa ako ay manirahan
Lupang tinubua’y hindi naiiwan
Ano mang paglimot hindi matutunan
Laging nakalanghap sa lupang katawan
Kahit naroroon sa malayong bayan
Laging umiihip ang hanging amihan
Laging dumaraing ang dating kundiman

-a song from “Bayani”, a musical on Jose Rizal I made years ago with Bienvenido Lumbera. Thanks Monica (my niece) for putting this in your blog. Yours and my feelings exactly.

I was quite happy settling in before all this. But since I know there will be more occasions such as these in the future where I will be going in and out of Sydney to Manila and other places, I may as well just get used to this roller coaster emotional ride.

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Been receiving packages here and there from long time friends, new ones I’ve met on the net, and even newer friends I just met here in Sydney. To all of you, salamat. I will have time soon to digest all the music, CDs, and food (thanks Sachiko) in the next few days.

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Aside from concerts in Manila and the Kumustahan leg of the tour in Guam and Saipan, one of the reasons I will be going back to Manila is because of a new CD that’s just been out. It’s a tribute to APO hits as done by the current bands. It’s an exciting, eclectic mix of styles that these young artists used to come up with this 18 song collection. From what I gather, it’s been getting massive airplay in Manila. This thrills us no end of course, knowing that the young are going gaga over our music. Try to score a copy. You’ll love some of the versions. Together with their takes is another CD containing the original versions by us. It’s a collector’s item.

41 to “mixed emotions”

  1. Doranne says:

    CONGRATULATOREEEEE! on the good things that have been happening in your life recently 🙂 and the CD 🙂 dapat pala pina-sign ko lahat yung mga CD at cassette ko bago ka umalis.

    e-mail me naman you email. may kwento ako sayo 🙂

  2. sachiko says:

    50’s and still experiencing these new kind of things,emotions and challenges..that’s cool!

    I wish i am among the crowds asking for signatures,i read your daughter Ala’s post about your concert and i can relate to the emotions our kababayans must have been feeling everytime you sing a song that reminds them of the country,their school days,their dates..but what is cool is being able to reach out to the young people,your blog surely is one factor why they can relate to your songs.

    ahihi..na extra pa ako..thank you too,Jim and more power. 🙂

  3. Jet says:

    When we got here to the US and started work on our green cards, my husband mentioned, very nonchalantly, that after this, we’ll be working on citizenship. It surprised me that the thought brought very sudden and irrepressible tears to my eyes.

    I’ve never given it much thought, my being Filipino. I mean, I will always readily own to being one, no doubt about that and I’ve always known I’ve got enough Filipino in me to have a sense of national pride wherever I go and whoever I talk to. I just never knew how dear it was to me, until then… until the thought having to lose it presented itself.

    I’ve been to both your daughter’s sites… you all miss home so much. Gosh, I do too.

  4. JT of Dural says:

    Tito Jim,

    First and foremost, the Capitol Theatre concert was a blast! It was my very first APO concert kasi naman noong nasa Inang Bayan tayo taken for granted natin ang ating OPM.

    Ang sarap ng pakiramdam noong puno ang Capitol Theatre na halos lahat ay Pinoy. You definitely brought the ‘Pinas back even for just a few hours.

    Matanong lang po: paano ninyo na-maintain ang inyong mga tinig through the years? What I mean to say is, you still sing the same songs in the same keys as you did 30 years ago. Marami kasing mga artist, Pinoy or otherwise, na nabawasan na ang kanilang vocal range noong nagka-edad kaya binaba na nila ang key ng kanilang mga awitin. Pero kayo ni Tito Danny, plakadong-plakado pa rin! 🙂

    Bueno mano po ang concert ninyo sa taong ito. Pagkatapos ninyo sina Basil Valdez, South Border, Willie Nepomuceno at Ramon Jacinto naman ang darating sa Sydney. Exciting!!

    -JT of Dural

    P.S. Hindi po ba sinipon si Geneva Cruz sa kasuotan niya? 🙂

  5. Jim says:

    sachiko–I really get a high doing shows like this. By the way, being past 50 does not mean an end to life and all its turmoils. To live is to struggle. Oo nga pala, sarap ng pinadala mo. The package was opened but wala naman atang na-confiscate.

    jet– I guess it will never leave us. i am so ‘hopelessly’ pinoy too. I take pride in that fact that I am a Filipino.

    jt of dural– Glad you watched and enjoyed. About our voices, as long as you never stop singing, your voice will maintain itself. We’ve been doing shows forever kaya abot pa rin namin ang aming mga kanta in their original key.

    Hindi naman sinipon si Geneva pero napansin ko na umin it yung kwarto! heh heh.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Aliw talaga ang APO concert.Buti hindi na ako namamaos, ha!ha! Favorite ko si Dona Buding bago kami nag migrate dito…na miss ko na naman ang Pinas kahit kakauwi ko lang last Dec.

    Nag order na ako ng bagong CD sa brod-in-law ko kaya lang baka sa September ko pa mapakinggan.
    Pagtiyagaan ko muna ang theme song ko kapag naglilinis ng bahay…

    Good luck sa mga pakikipagsapalaran…

  7. Leah says:

    Hi Jim,
    Congrats on your successful concert and goodluck on the upcoming ones.

    Been reading your family’s blogs and I am so touched by all your sharing of your experiences, the sadness, depressions, joys, etc. Thanks for letting me have a glimpse into your world. Nakakainspire to read it all.

    btw, if I can score one of your new CD’s. That will be great as well. I’ll be emailing you.

    Have fun in the P.I.

  8. VICKY says:

    Jim, good to see you post again and Congratulations for the the success of your concerts in Mel and Syd- tutoo ha- sa Brisbane naman next time please…
    Those homesickness blues esp kung there is a re-union with friends and family from home really HITs big time but hey- it gets better every time as long as you are convinced that Australia is now your home base. Rgds

  9. jey says:

    congratulations! wow, a new cd!=)

  10. Maricel says:

    hello jim!

    congratulations on the success of your concerts.

    i hope na mapanood ko kayo dito sa manila sa susunod ninyong concert.

    good luck to you and your family sa inyong bagong tahanan sa australia.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, here it is Mr. Paredes (i mean the post about your upcoming concert in Manila)! I was the one who sent you an email inquiring about it. =)

    The tribute to APO is still not available in the market, unfortunately. But they said it will be out really soon.



  12. Jennie says:

    Apo Jim,

    Saying goodbye to friends is never an easy task, especially when you have spent almost your whole life with them being close by.

    I myself miss the Philippines for the same reason – my friends, people I went to school with, and may family.

    Congratulations for the success of your concert. Hamer Hall is a fantastic venue. I actually watched Billy Connolly there on January this year 🙂

    By the way, any plans of visiting Melbourne soon? I would love to take you and your family around the must-see sites 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations!!! Salamat sa musika.

  14. Apo Virgin says:

    I enjoyed your concert here in Melbourne very much. It was very funny too – sumakit ang tiyan namin sa kakatawa.

    It was good to get your autograph and pictures too. Hope to see you here soon.

    PS Sa umpisa lang siguro iyong lungkot at homesickness. Australia is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I’m glad you’ve chosen to come here.

  15. Jim says:

    anonymous, apo virgin–glad na nag-enjoy kayo.

    jennie–I may go to Melbourne next year for a workshop and/or a photo exhibit. Will let you know.

    maricel–catch us in Manila. I promise youy, it’s not gonna be the regular type of concert that you’ve watched.


  16. sachiko says:

    What i meant was i really admire your way of thinking and no wonder, maraming seeker of your advice (wisdom) dito sa blog mo.
    Kasi here in Japan, when a man reaches 50, parang nawawalan na sila ng interes sa maraming bagay.
    Iba talaga ang pinoy.

    I’m glad you liked the Japanese goodies. 🙂

  17. GreenMangoes says:

    Mr. Jim!

    Kumusta po?

    I’m planning to watch the “conert” version of Kami nAPO muna on Aug 22, 2006. Will you be there also with mr. buboy and mr.danny? Would that be possible for you to go here even if you’re in australia?

  18. orange says:

    did get the cd. and i am loving it! =)

    congratulations, sir jim!

  19. Gabriela says:

    As you are reading this, you are home again in Manila.

    For some of us, it took many more years before we could go back home to visit as ‘balikbayans’. In retrospect, the day I left Manila as an immigrant of the US, my life drastically changed in ways that my prespective about where my heart belong and where I needed to be still continue to tugged inside of me. But one thing is certain, things will never ever be the same again. Destiny will allow you to breath back home to catch up with your old life again, but reality will pull you to a place you never thought could make you feel so different.

    We all went through that ‘growing pains’ as immigrants. This is probably what made us feel very different from the rest when we came back home to visit again.

    Welcome home, balikbayan. Yes, there’s still no place like home: It is where your roots are. But, your heart is with your family.

    Remember, Here and Now-

  20. reden says:

    jim, i’m just wondering will you be running the TCU in Manila this august?


  21. Anonymous says:


    I continue to pray for you, your family and the whole APO family.

    Viva Papa Ratzi,

  22. enigma says:

    Congrats Jim! il see you on Sept2. =)

  23. Anonymous says:

    hi mr. paredes. may you share who your agents were who helped you migrate there? please? thanks.

  24. Makatang Sampay-Bakod says:

    JIm, please let me answer the query of Mr./Ms. Anonymous re immigration and migration agent. To apply, just go to “goggle” and type Australian Embassy Philippines, click to visa/migration and you can get all the information you need, including download of application and fees. As a matter of policy, you do not need a migration agent unless your case is complicated or you do not have the time to do the application.(see area of migration agent “05”). If there is a remaining quota, you are qualified, your credentials are authentic, no health problem, no criminal records, etc. the application will be processed whether through you or through the agent. You just have to pay personally for all the fees, which the agent will also charge you, plus their normal fees. From the site, you can access all information you need to know. For confidential reason, I could not reveal my identity, but Jim knows where I speak of.

  25. johann says:

    i just saw the cd yesterday at tower records on my way home. am so excited to get a copy. but i wonder why “mahirap magmahal ng syota ng iba” was not included. meron po kayang volume 2 ang collection na ito?

    dunno really, but APO songs are my FSS (first song syndrome, the opposite of LSS. i just end up singing “ewan” or “mahirap magmahal ng syota ng iba” first thing in the morning). just goes to show that your songs are timeless (i am in my 20s, and i admit growing up to your songs).

  26. Bass Poet says:

    Hi Jim,

    Congratulations to the new APO CD. It shows that the APO Hiking Society is a national icon in the Philippines. I admire APO Hiking’s longevity, passion and most of all the brotherhood and camarederie that is uniquely experience being in a musical group.

    It proves that APO’s music is timeless yet fresh, classic yet relevant and organic yet rooted in the love for music and humanity. Keep on playing! I have become one of your musical disciples since the moment I heard your music.

    Rock on lagi!

  27. ang says:

    i figured i would make a long-overdue visit to your blog! wow, i’m glad you and your family have acclamated nicely in australia, but I’m not sure if I could handle driving on the wrong side of the road!

    I hope the rest of the tour goes swimmingly. Hopefully APO comes to Chicago someday (I can wait! lol). I hope to score that new CD.

    Have a good one!

  28. wella says:

    hi sir jim!

    has been a while since i last read your blogs, dami ko na palang na-miss.

    kakabili ko lang ng Kami nAPO Muna cd, and i was happy to hear your songs in a “different flavor”. sabi ko nga sa mga friends ko, iba talaga ang influence nyo, it trancends from one generation to another.

    iba po talaga kayo! kahit na mga bata, they know your songs! i hope to watch one your concerts in Manila. yung Kami nAPO Muna concert, manonood po ako, nandoon po ba kayo? hay! sana you can sign my cd!

    congratz in advance sa mga concerts nyo!

    salamat sa musika!!!

    wella =)

  29. tin says:

    mr. jim,

    my brother, 16y/o, got himself a cd of Kami nAPO muna over the weekend (without us telling him ha) and we’ve been enjoying all the songs. it’s amazing how my li’l bro gets to “feel” your songs, he even sings along…it just shows that your originals continue to touch all ages. Thank you for your group’s talents! 🙂

  30. Jim says:

    johann, timn, wella, bass poet and all those who commewnted on the album. salamat! I just heard its the fastest selling CD right now in Manila. A cjeck at technorati.com (type apo tribute album) shows that many kids are talking about iy on their blogs. What a thrill!

    ang- thanks for th visit.

    makatang sampay bakod–you should be an immigration lawyer, thanks for answering it knowledgeably. I myself just did it on my own.

    Rededn- will answer your query soon.

    Enigma and all those watching, see you soon, for the Aug 22 one, we will be there but it’s not our show. FOr september 2, it’s us through and through.

  31. Jim says:

    gabriela–well said. salamat.

    orange-glad you like it

    green mangoes–enjoy the show

    sachiko-am past 50 with a 30s mindset. isip bata/ haha

  32. Anonymous says:

    heard the tribute. nothing beats the original.

  33. Christianne says:

    One of the 20 CDs I just *had* to bring when I moved to Europe last year was an APO CD 🙂 as another person said, you’re a national icon.

    Any chance you’ll be doing concerts in Stockholm in the future, Manong Jim?

  34. apo aidon says:

    as i read this post, panalangin of moonstar played on my itunes. congratulations! Apo truly deserves tributes. Sana may pupil. Although i know there’s a riff (?) between thirdline and ely sometime late eheads days. maybe i just missed the nescafe open up party way back 🙂

  35. Anonymous says:

    Hello Jim and your family,

    I didn’t know you left the Phils. and started anew in AU. I am based here in Holland and I was one of the huge crowd present during your Kumusthan concert as well . I think in 2003?

    Upon learning that you moved out of the Phils. as well, I told my husband then, now I could say that there is really probably little hope for my country ..even the ones I never expected to leave also left!

    On the other hand, I was also happy to read on how you saw the difference of living outside the Phils.,when the gap between the rich and the poor is not so obvious and that corruption is not a common topic for people..or in the media.

    However, I don’t believe that your desire to change Phils., will stop when you are outside of the country, we can start via being ” Australian Filipino” ,Dutch Filipino, etc. still Filipino but adapting the good and positive things about the country where we live in-and who knows when we get the chance bring them back to the Philippines!

    Maybe you could start via starting a “global Filipino organization with still a unified goal of making Philippines a better country to live in..

    More power to you and your new found home and

    God Bless to you and your family,

  36. Luchie says:

    Right at this moment, I am watching you with Boboy and Danny singing there in Davao on my TFC.
    Nice seeing you on TV/cable.
    More power!!!

  37. Luchie says:

    Sorry, that is Manila pala and Toni Gonzaga’s group in Davao….

  38. skulgirltrx says:

    Hi po! 🙂 just wanted to tell you my husband and I are avid fan of yours.I’m very happy that you came up with your newest album,KaminAPOmuna (bought mine already last Tues. at the Tower Records) and i must say “sooobrang ganda!” and i recommend it to everyone lalo na yung new generation. My 13yr.old son is enjoying Kamikaze’s version of “doo bidoo” and i was teary-eyed just like Zsazsa when I saw you in ASAP kanina. Well that just goes to show how much we missed your TRIO.
    More Power and God Bless! 😉

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi Apo Jim,

    Maybe this is a bit overdue but still wanted to say we enjoyed the Sydney concert immensely. Wala pAPOng kupas ang Apo. Listening to your songs once again brought back the Pinoy in us. It made us look back to what we once enjoyed as teens in the Philippines.
    Masarap pa ring tangkilikin ang musikang Pilipino.

  40. *khatie says:

    Hi Mr. Jim,
    I really loved APO and your songs. Even I’m young but still I manage to enjoy your music. I was watching ASAP last sunday, I was planning to get out of house but when I learned that the show will have you and your tribute Album, I packed myself infront of the TV and watch ASAP till it was finished. Wow, galing ng album. I’ve decided to buy myself a copy that day… but…

    Just a quick question, you mention on the show that there will be a limited edition CD, color is brown I think. What is the difference with the original/Red one. You also said that it will be released next week…so I still went to the mall but plan to wait till next week for that CD… but I’m sooo excited na.
    Hear from you soon. !

  41. Jim says:

    khatie–the brown one will have APO’s originals AND the new versions.

    skulgirltrx, luchie and everyone–glad you enjoyed asap. thanks for the visit.

    apo aidon-salamat/

    charina–wherever we are, the Phgilippines is still in our hearts, di ba?

    christianne–right now walang plans but who knows. We actually did copenhagen two years ago!

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