Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

centering and letting go

Posted on August 23, 2006 by jimparedes

http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifAm in a tizzy. Everything seems to have been turned upside down.

My life in Sydney for five months was quiet and yes, idyllic

1) I recieved few texts a day and they came from a handful of people–my family and a few friends. I got few calls on my cell and all from the same people above.

2) I had a lot of quiet time, and chores that took the place of zen sits at times

3) My concerns were about basic stuff: washing dishes, throwing out the garbage, picking up people from the train station, teaching guitar lessons, some photography.

4) I had a lot of good, relaxed , quality time with my family. We laughed a lot and the loneliness of leaving friends behind made us discover each other more. It is no exageration to say some of the best family times we’ve had happened during the last five months.

5) I could hear my thoughts anytime of the day. I was clear to myself. In other words, I was centered.

6) I had very few vanities to attend to. I am in t0shirt and rubber shoes everyday.

My life in Manila these days is the opposite.

1) My phone is beeping or ringing many times a day

2) I have little or no quiet time. Life is too busy. Manila is a noisy city. In Aus, I wake up when I am ready to wake up. Here, I wake up to sounds of cars, trycicles, the pandesal delivery, etc.

3) My concerns affect more people now–APO and management, the new show in ABS, my house here and my home in Sydney. There are things to attend to like the strong resurgence of APO’s music, crazy stuff like the Inquirer brouhaha, and so many other things.

4) I do not have family time because they are not with me save for Erica and Ananda. But they will be leaving and I will be left behind in a few weeks. I content myself with YM and chats with Lydia, Mio and Ala.

5) I have made a vow not to lose my centrer and so have to work at it. I am back to zen sits and meditations.

6) Working on TV means being subjected to make up all the time which I absolutely hate. Physical vanity is a factor I have to deal with again. Also, I am reminded to dress more formally. Naninibago ako sa TV culture ulit. But since Dream Academy is a reality show, they will probably wave the make up requirement. Good!

Crazy, exciting, unpredictable life!

The Inquirer episode is over. They have apologized and I am content with that. I know an apology will not completely restore whatever was before. Not all the feathers that were thrown to the wind will be recovered. But the important thing for me is to move on. There is no good in crying over something like this. That was yesterday. Today is a new day. In fact, I will not even let this affect my dealings with the Inquirer in the future. Forgiveness is freedom. Not to forgive, to hate is crazy, like taking poison and wishing someone else dies. The art of letting go of baggage is a life skill which is so important to learn. And I am constantly teaching myself that.

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Me with Kamikaze

The concert tribute to APO, KaminAPO Muna was, from the looks of it, a great success. Danny, Boboy and I were honored by the performances. Sobra. Nakakatuwa. It is great to be honored and recognized while one is still alive. But I am also glad that it happened 37 years into our career already since we are grown men and supposedly more matured, and so can handle all this adulation better. No getting drunk and no puffed-up sense of self-importance after. Just a high five between the three of us but accompanied with a humbled sense of fulfillment and pride.

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APO is hip (again!).

Throughout the concert, I kept thinking how strange and magical life is. You never know what God is gonna throw at you. At the same time, I knew that this high moment shall pass too. Every moment is a wave of form with its signature mark of impermanence written on it. Fame, Money, even life itself is fleeting. The moment is all we have. And so we must be present to its gifts. Boy, was I present that night and so was filled with gratitude.

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Orange and Lemons singing Yakap sa Dilim–the biggest song on radio and ringtones currently.

Today we had rehearsals with our musicians. When I left for Sydney, I wasn’t sure if I’d even see them again. It was great to listen to their great playing. I can’t wait to do our Mall of Asia concert on September 2, and the Pampanga one on the 9th and the Alegria show on the 15th.

My blog hits have quadupled over night with the comments reaching unprecedented numbers. It’s always like this when the topic is on the political side. But this one was quite over the top. Things I deduced from the comments:

a) More Pinoys do not hold it against fellow Filipinos if they wish to migrate or have actually done so.

b) That a majority of Pinoys do not like to judge other people’s reasons for leaving.

c) That people respond to positive messages more than negative ones

One thing I learned living abroad is that there are infinitely more things in life than just politics. In our society, it seems sometimes that it is the only game in town. And the bad thing about is that our brand of politics is quite toxic and one can get so easily consumed by it. We react so viscerally since it strikes at the heart of the ego’s need–to win, to be right, to be superior and to protect its views at all costs.

And so let’s all simmer down. For the next comments, can we try NOT to bite the meatless bone of politics since it does not seem to give any sustenance? It’s a bone you can keep biting and chewing but it will not give you anything. Instead, I would like to end this blog as I’ve done before, with the vision of John Lennon’s world order. And don’t argue if it is attainable or not. That’s not the point. It is just a reminder that there are are more things that can unite us than the temporal, fleeting lure of politics. Not worth losing our sanity over.

By John Lennon

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Peace Pinoy Brothers and Sisters all over the world!

70 to “centering and letting go”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do not be concerned about that article. According to Michael Tan, the Inquirer only has a few hundred thousand readers compared to one million plus for a newspaper like the Bangkok Post. That is so because only 50 percent of Filipinos finish high school and even fewer finish college. And that in one of the weakest educational systems in Asia (e.g., class size of 60, incredible shortages in classrooms, etc.).

    It is likely that most Filipinos will be less concerned about personalities leaving the country than finding out how they can leave themselves.

    One recent Pulse Asia report shows that 3 out of 10 Filipinos want to leave and most do not trust the middle class or the government.

  2. baBan says:

    Mang Jim!

    About sa first part, so saan mas okay? dito o sa Australia? hihi…

    and oo nga nuh? its been a long time na since you worked as a host in a nood time show. kakatuwa din ung mga days na yon. almost everyday. Kaya ngayon, nakakapanibago talaga. Dami na kasing pamamaraan sa bagong telebisyon. May mga nag sulputan nang mga pagong theme or concept. Well, goodluck sa pagiging HEADMASTER. Pahirapan mo sila ah! BUWAHHA.. lol.. ay di pala lahat, may friend kasi ako dun eh. si Yeng. Vocalist ng band ng bassist namin. ^_^

    Buti naman napatawad mo na ung nagsulat sa newspaper. Bilib ako sayo, biro mo, anlaking bagay nung naisulat nya, nabasa ng buong Pilipino and just like that :snap:, napatawad mo sya. ^_^.


  3. Anonymous says:

    from your daughter’s site:

    Anonymous said…

    I agree with the assessment that Jim was banking on his nationalistic image before, but had to swallow a lot of his former ideas, which he won’t admit, and hides it with words like “gain new experiences”, “expand your horizons” (duh, couldn’t you do that just being a tourist?).

    American Junk
    APO Hiking Society

    Leave me alone to my third world devices
    I don’t need your technology
    You just want my natural resources
    And then you leave me poor and in misery
    Third world blues is what I got
    Troubles, yes I got a lot

    (American Junk)
    Get it out of my bloodstream
    (American Junk)
    Get it out of my system
    (American Junk)
    I can only take so much
    (American Junk)
    Gotta get back to who I am

    You call it new music
    I call it pollution
    You music I now see on my television
    (American Top 40)
    Why is it now I can only sing
    In English language that you people bring
    (Da da da da)
    Why is it now that they only
    Play top 40 music on TV and radio

    It’s been so long since I had
    A glance of what I think I really am

    Sadly Jim, now you have to live in a land where they speak English everyday and pump nothing but Western music on TV 24/7. And where first world technology is a way of life.

    5:04 AM
    Anonymous said…

    And I especially like the part where you sang “leave me alone to my third world devices”. Such hypocrisy. Looks like you left your third world devices behind sir.

    5:10 AM

  4. Jim says:

    I know who you are. Why are you so angry at Ala and I to go the extra mile and blog hop this inane comment. Is it STILL about the discussion in Ala’s blog where you suddenly turned mean-spirited because we did not lose hope on ythe Philippines like you did?

    I don’t have to explain, justify my life or work especially to anonymous bashers like you.

    Begone little mind!

  5. Gail says:

    Mr. Jim. can you post details nang Mall of Asia concert…thanks po!

  6. koAla Paredes says:

    Man, that mr. anonymous is OBSESSED with us hahaha. And I mean really, really obsessed. Di mabitawan. So obsessed with our lives and our decisions, e wala naman talagang kinalaman sa kaniya. Nag post na nga sa blog ko, nag post pa ulit sa blog mo.

    If he thinks were nothing but hypocrites, why is he so obsessed with proving his point to us? I don’t think he even knows what his point is. At first it was that the Philippines is a hell-hole. When he wouldn’t agree, it became about us being bullshit idealists. When we wouldn’t agree, it became about us being hypocrites. Now it’s about a song you wrote 20 years ago in different context. Ano ba talaga? Ang labo kasi eh hahaha.

    And of course, malicious people never like to identify themselves. (But I think he’s from Rhodes, Sydney)

    I hope he finds what he’s looking for (which he apparently thinks he’ll find here).

  7. Anonymous says:

    Psycho stalker dude: And I especially like the part where you sang “leave me alone to my third world devices”. Such hypocrisy. Looks like you left your third world devices behind sir.

    Jim: I don’t have to explain, justify my life or work especially to anonymous bashers like you.

    First of all I just would like to say that the psycho stalker dude is scary. Second, I think Jim is evading the question.

    And don’t bother asking for a link. I don’t have a blog (just web surfing while at work wink wink 😉 ). But I will freely give out my name, which is Marcus Aurelius Rivera, from Dresden, Germany.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Psycho stalker dude: And I especially like the part where you sang “leave me alone to my third world devices”. Such hypocrisy. Looks like you left your third world devices behind sir.

    Why would Jim be hypocritical? We all look at old photos from time to time and wince at the clothes and hairdo we used to wear.

    The same goes for when we hear an old tune and think back how we used to “dig” it.

    Borrowing a leaf from Jim, we go thru a journey of metamorphisis over time.

    Youthful rebellion and idealism give way to conservative sentiments and pragmatism. We move from the left to the right.

    I know I have mellowed. And I’m no where near Jim’s age 🙂


  9. Jim says:

    There was a time to kill ‘the great white father’ so to speak, to move on. I thought that was evident in the song. If you grew up in the 70’s when American Imperialism was the burning issue, you would know where that was coming from.

    In many ways, we still have to kill our colonial affectations. That’s why Pidro sang it in that accent.

    As for me, I wrote it 20 years ago and i do not see why I have to explain it. It is STILL true for many. And my moving to Aus has nothing to do with it. Australia has a more benign relationship with us than the US. It is a country we never went to war with, traded lightly and knew little of.

    I do not hate America. I like it in many many ways and even admire it for many things. But we must learn to stop comparing ourselves with the US and instead develop our culture oblivious to it. We are Filipinos. That is the thing beyond the early OPM movement. We wrote in Filipino and sang in Filipino inlike our predecesors.

    A UP professor explained to me that American Junk was the best 3 minute explanation of the need to getting back our national identity. This was in the 70’s of course. It’s a different world now.

  10. Crescencia Jones-Sicat says:

    Youthful rebellion and idealism give way to conservative sentiments and pragmatism. We move from the left to the right. – Chris

    I think the reason why some people are ticked off with Jim Paredes lately is that he won’t admit that he’s moving his family to Australia because he sees a better future for them than they will if they lived in the Philippines. As a parent, I understand Jim’s position.

    Jim would find that he won’t be hounded if he just came clean and said that he doesn’t see a brighter future for his kids in the Philippines. But that would be a complete reversal of his old ideas and sentiments.

    Actions speak louder than words. Jim, you may not have said “I’ve lost hope in the Philippines”, but your actions certainly do. And there is no shame in that.

  11. Felix R. says:

    Jim: Australia has a more benign relationship with us than the US. It is a country we never went to war with, traded lightly and knew little of.

    Oh c’mon! I’ve never heard of so much B.S. in my life. You migrated to Australia because a) it is a rich, western nation willing to give you a visa b) it would have been EMBARRASSING to ask the U.S. for a green card AGAIN since you tore up the old one.

    We may have a benign relationship with the Aussies (sure, they only continually reject our agricultural products to protect their local farmers at the expense of our export industry using quarantine as an excuse), but remember these people made a whole generation of alcoholics with the Aborigines, are still part of the coalition of the willing in Iraq, and have stolen East Timor’s oil and gas in the guise of security keeping and nation building.

    So what is it Jim? You can migrate to a country as long as they’re not “rude” (and this is debatable) to Filipinos (while being evil to others like East Timor, Iraq, and the Aborigines)?

  12. Anonymous says:

    felix r,

    Are you angry at Jim or are you angry at Australia for accepting Jim, invading east timor, being part of the coalition of the willing and driving the aborigines to drink?


  13. Jim says:

    What can I say? Wala ng katapusan kung talagang may ill will kayo. You look for motives other than stated. Patiently, I will write this but for the last time.

    Cresencia–About ‘coming clean’, you say? Of course Australia offers a bright future. I never denied that. It’s in my blog. READ my the relevant entries in my blog before you comment. I have always written about my intentions clearly. Why don’t you come clean and say you never got the chance to read them, or worse, that you misread them?

    As I said countless times, I am giving my kids the CHOICE where they want to live. I do not see anything wrong with that. One can do that and still love one’s country of birth.

    What is it in going for personal growth in another country that you do not understand? Or what’s wrong with it? What is so ungraspable about it?

    My advice is, stop analyzing and live with it! Really! I had a chance and took it. And I will pursue every dream before I get too old to do them.

    And do go for own dreams, and not just talk about why it is wrong for people to go for theirs.

    If my having moved ticks you off, find out why. Is it jealousy? Is it because I dared do what you can’t or don’t have the guts, chance, nerve to do?

    Felix–If you must make general statements about a whole nation that is unsavory, or reduce their entire history to one or two unflattering phrases, I don’t think I want to continue any dialogue with you any further. By the way, that’s called racism. It’s the same mindset that we complain about when we are called ‘a nation of cheats’, or whatever. Nations and peoples are infinitely bigger realities than bigotry and petty thinking can ever encompass.

    By the way, your style of writing is VERY similar to…. Parang si.. di naman siguro….. hmmm…

    Di na ako sasagot. Wala ng pupuntahan ito. Kung di niyo pa magets, baka ayaw niyo talaga i-gets. As Anais says, we see the world not as it is but as we are.

    G’day mates! And may you have peace in your hearts always.

  14. Jim says:

    And so this discussion ends. If you recall, this entry is about APO music, my life these days. But somehow, some of you derail it and make the discussion political, tedious and yes, toxic. As blog owner, I will insist that comments be connected to the topics at hand. People are tired of this. Enuff already,

    I will now excercise my right to delete comments that make this blog a forum for unrelated opinions.

    If you don’t like it, report me to the police, ha ha ha.

  15. kat says:

    Whenever I think of APO, I think of my dad and his college barkada. I guess it’s because theme song nila ang “Awit ng Barkada”. Just recently, I learned that my parents’ theme song is “Pag-Ibig”. Then I realized I know more of your songs than I thought I did, I just don’t know the titles. You, Buboy and Danny rock! I am glad that there’s this tribute album. Congratulations!

  16. abet says:

    Hi. Stumbled on your blog while reading the inquirer today. It kinda gets a little bit iffy especially with someone with a profile such as yourself migrates to another country. Do realize, however, that you are not alone. Any other migrant, be they Filpino, Chinese, or any other nationality have agonized over the same dillema.

    Australia is a good place to be now. It can be alienating a first, but I do believe that you are now getting accustomed to the “Australian lifestyle”. Laid-back, calm, free to do as you wish. (You’re not in the dole aren’t you? ha ha, just kidding). You can choose to be busy whenever you want, and its very fortunate, especially with someone of your experience, to be ready to migrate into somewhat unchartered territory.

    Frankly, being a migrant myself, I have never felt more Filipino than to be here, in the land of the mixed races. I am so loving it.

  17. kellvilleguy says:

    hi all.

    i am one of the pinoys who moved to sydney. i am happy here because the country is good to us. he pinoy’s working in factories can own a house and suvs. work is paid and you are not exploited.

    jim you made the the right choice to move here.


    kellyville guy

  18. Lani says:

    Mr. Jim, where can I buy the kaminAPO muna album wherein naroon din ang version niyo? Nakita ko lang dito sa 3 record bars na pinuntahan ko ay iyong interpretation ng mga banda.

    Dahil sa September na rin lang, I want to greet you Merry Christmas, simula na kasi ang X-mas season dito sa atin. Natutuwa akong marinig ang mga Christmas songs sa radio. And oo nga pala, kaninang 10-11am ay karamihan ng songs niyo ang pinlay sa 101.9 for Life. Bigla akong nag-senti, naalala ko iyong panahong bata pa ako.

    APO songs bring back good memories. Congrats po at pati na rin kina Mr. Danny and Mr. Boboy at sa inyong family.

    Saludo ako sa inyo!!!

  19. aprealicious says:


  20. Jim says:

    apprealicious–salamat din at nagustuhan mo yung music namin

    lani–merry xmas din kahit maaga pa. you can get the CDD everywhere.

    kellyvilleguy–right on mate!

    abet–same here.

    kat– it’s great knowing your parents are APO fans!!

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