Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Endings, beginnings and greetings

Posted on December 21, 2006 by jimparedes


Got off the plane in Melbourne from Manila for an hour’s stop before proceeding to Sydney yesterday at 8:30 AM. When I turned on my cellphone, I saw a text from Krip Yuson asking if I was alright since he heard on DZMM that the house of Chinchin Gutierrez, (friend, actress and my next door neighbor) was burned to the ground.

I immediately called Manila and discovered that all my neighbors were out in the street watching the firemen douse the fire and assisting in the rescue of the Gutierezes. I also learned much to my relief that our house was spared and that everyone from our house and Chinchin’s was safe even if Chinchin and her mom had to be rushed to the hospital. The only casualties were 5 dogs that were left in the cage.

It’s so shocking how the fortunes of men can just so easily change in a matter of minutes. Gone is the house that had always been there. The realization of the temporal nature of everything was delivered so brutally and with such finality. I was so rudely reminded that everything we think we own is actually just borrowed and that includes our own lives. Ramana Maharshi, one of my favorite gurus says that only that which has no beginning and no end, and does not change is real. While that may be true, as humans we are attached to people, houses, memories and all these things that cause is to be sentimental and it is hard to let all of that go, And it is especially heart-rending to have to give up all that in one single blow.

Chinchin, her mother and two maids lost everything they owned. Knowing Chinchin, she may not be comfortable about my announcing this but since I heard her manager say the same thing on TFC, I will say it here. They are in dire need of financial help. If you want to help make their Christmas a fresh start, please feel free to send anything their way. Write to me at jim_paredes@yahoo.com for details.



It’s over. Pinoy Dream Academy, the reality show I did for 4 months is finally finished. We did our final hurrah last Dec. 16 and what a farewell it was. It delivered on every expectation that people had. I am so proud to have been part of the show and so humbled to have witnessed the scholars whom we taught and nurtured for 4 months, deliver a punching, heart-stopping presentation.

Yeng, Panky, Ronnie, Irish, JR, Chad did not disappoint.They wowed everyone including themselves. They truly deserved to be in the Final Six. I am quite happy that it was the audience that decided who would win since it was getting increasingly hard for us teachers to decide on the fate of the scholars. We would have been happy whoever placed since we felt they all had reached a development stage where they could really perfornm already.

It was a four month exericise wherein we continiously surprised our audience and even ouselves. Television as we know it in this country has many givens. Nevertheless, we taught the scholars’ stuff which we worried would bore the audience, etc. but the audience as it turned out loved it. I have so many great memories of PDA and am glad to have been instrumental in the scholars’ training and part of their narratives of personal redemption.

As an older artist to these young, and green wannabes, I feel rejuvenated and have learned much from watching them embrace the lessons and excercises fearlessly. I must thank them, and the staff, and the station and all of you who watched, texted, wrote and invested time watching it. If you want to see more pictures, click here.

* * *

It has been quite a year for me. During the past twelve months, I had migrated with my family to Aus, lived in two houses there, established a life in this foreign land that is slowly turning into a real home. I have also seen a revival of APO’s music on a scale that continues to amaze us. It’s still hard to believe it but once again, we have teens who are watching our concerts, asking for our autographs, pictures, singing our songs and buying our music in the form of CDs and ringtones. It’s a crazy world and I love it.

I have also become a regular columnist for Philippine Star. Frankly, I am quite surprised at the number of letters I recieve regarding what I write.

Also, I have had the unexpected pleasure of suddenly gaining a new nickname–that of ‘Headmaster’, thanks to the power of televison. Pinoy Dream Academy, a show I originallly turned down because it was just a ‘reality show’, had reignited my belief that TV does not have to always be patronizing and dumb. In some way, we provided content that amazed, excited and inspired our audience. And in the process, I really enjoyed myself.

Lastly, I wish to end this piece by greeting you all with all the beautiful, inspiring thoughts and feelings that Christmas can convey to the weary heart. May we all be like children awake to the wonders of life. May we experience the delight of Christmas the way Charles Dickens described tiny kids anticipating Chrsitmas night with ‘visions of sugarplum dancing in their heads.’ Lastly, may the peace that a Wonder Child brought to this world find its way into you and may it affect all your dealings with everyone.

As a bonus, here’s a unique Christmas picture.

Merry Christmas everyone!

16 to “Endings, beginnings and greetings”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really loved PDA and I miss the show! After the Big Night, I can’t believe it’s over. I don’t watch much TV but it made me tune in every night. It was a really great show and I think it wouldn’t have been that way if you weren’t part of it. πŸ™‚

  2. Anonymous says:

    yah.. it was such a wonderful show.. i watched the grand dream night live in Araneta.. you’re such a daddy Sir Jim. I envy your kids coz’ they have a father like you.. Godspeed! Merry Christmas Headmaster!

  3. edny@fakhro.com says:

    missing PDA so much… i hope you’ll continue to support and give guidance to all the scholars… like what you always remind them that’s easy to get in and be popular but it’s harder to last long… thanks headmaster jim… you became a father to a lot of us… May your family have a Merry Christmas and a blessed 2007…

  4. skulgirltrx says:

    during the first two weeks of its run, i wasn’t convinced that PDA will gain popularity like its predecessors (PBB series), but alas, i was wrong! i was hooked! i regret that i didn’t had 24/7 though, it would have surely made me knowledgeable not only as an educator but even as a willing student of music. i’m still experiencing withdrawal symptoms up to now like everyone else!

    congratulations! you being the Headmaster(alongside with the other teachers) and the Final 6 deserves to be there. you surely filled/rocked ARANETA and Phil. TV! =)

    Happy Christmas to you and your family down there!

  5. edong says:

    it was a very good decision for the network management to pick you as the ‘headmaster’… kung iba siguro, malamang hindi ganon ka-successful. πŸ™‚

    Kudos to you sir Jim!

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Merry Christmas to you and to your family!

  7. acapulco says:

    yeah, i enjoyed watching PDA too, great job headmaster!… pero, i wish my idol Coconuter would have joined… oh well, i’ll just vote for him when he becomes president or ambassador or some kind of national hero or something… i just feel something big is in store for him… mabuhay ang Coconuter! Free yourselves as well, visit http://coconuter.blogspot.com

  8. JULIA says:

    What a great jouney and a yearender for you JIM! We are so happy for you πŸ™‚ Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year! Best regards. Take care. God Bless …. Jun, Julia, Matthew & Junie

  9. Jim says:

    To everyone,

    So glad you got a lot ffrom Pinoy Dream Academy. It was adifferent type of show. None of us had ever done anything like it and were so amazed at the success of it. Till next run (kung meron). Actually, I don’t even know whether they will run it again and if it is with the same cast.

    As much as you guys loved it, we did too. And like you, we are suffering withdrawal symptoms as well.. ha ha

  10. All I want is to hug me :) says:

    Hi Sir Jim,

    I really love PDA. I am looking forward for another season :). Sana ikaw pa rin ang headmaster coz’ you’ve played a very big role in the lives of the scholars. I wish that there would be no replacement of teachers uli πŸ™‚ thanks po!

  11. All I want is to hug me :) says:

    Hi Sir Jim,

    I really love PDA. I am looking forward for another season :). Sana ikaw pa rin ang headmaster coz’ you’ve played a very big role in the lives of the scholars. I wish that there would be no replacement of teachers uli πŸ™‚ thanks po!

  12. Anonymous says:

    grabe, ang ganda ng boses ni panky.. hands-down ako sa knya.

    sayang, hndi nkapasok si yvan sa top6..

  13. may says:

    merry christmas to you and your family πŸ™‚

  14. Anonymous says:

    I reeally love PDA!!! I didn’t get to watch the Grand Dream Night because I was in Mambukal for my vacation. There’s no TV, signal, and internet! I was hoping that Panky would win!!! Well, just accept it. As I would say.

    Ummm, is it true that she ranked 4th?

  15. -kins- says:

    i really miss the show.. i’ve never been hooked to a reality show til PDA. i just miss watching the show! is season two coming soon? hehe

  16. ping says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Sir Jim.

    I miss PDA too but I’m sure there will be another one next year because of the success it had this year.

    By the way, my 7 year old daughter likes your music, too. Her favorite song right now is Panalangin and Doo Bi Doo. At least there’s no generation gap there πŸ™‚



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