Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


On being busy, money and bargains, and dining with total strangers

Posted on May 31, 2013 by jimparedes

Doing quite a number of things. So many things I need to write these days. I am doing an album and am getting focused on writing songs, and discussing them with my arranger. Also, before going to the studio, you sort of have to run the song in your mind many times to make sure your approach is spot on and you maximize the way you want your song to impact. Once you put down the music, you can’t change it so it needs to be right when you go to the studio. It’s a challenge and a lot of fun. But it is also a lot of work.

There’s also my column which I write weekly on Philippine Star, and some assignments I need done. That’s why I am wondering why I am even spending time writing on my blog right now. LOL Maybe my father-in-law was right. He always used to say, ‘if you want things done, get a busy person to do them.’

* * *

Had a talk with a young man and he asked me how I got into doing my work and career. Was I sure it was what I wanted? Did I have a plan? The answer to the first question is at best a tentative ‘yes’. I was too spooked to really believe I was talented enough to do anything good. But yes, I wanted to write songs and sing them. On the second question, the answer is ‘not really’ and yes. I say ‘not really because I wasn’t disciplined enough to make any plan. I basically just grabbed opportunities as they came. My plan if you could call it that was based more on what I did not want to do. I knew I did not want to work in an office, or do other people’s songs, and so yes, I planned on writing my own songs and hoped people liked them.

When I got older, wiser and I guess, as a certain maturity set in, I began to pay attention to things. Before I bought a house I studied interest rates, and what it’s like to have a mortgage. I planned my finances, expenses, investments and all things considered, I’d say I did pretty decently in that department. I never had a taste for signature stuff. Status, I always felt was not bought but earned.

To this day, I compare prices every time I purchase something. I even study and choose plans for my cellphone use and try to get the best plan ever. Now, I am seriously looking into http://www.globe.com.ph/help/postpaid/best-ever-my-super-plan-faqs
to see if I can get more value from Globe while saving money because you can customize even the the plan itself to 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 months. Will get to it very soon. Am not ashamed to say that I am always happy to get bargains. Besides, I also have a ‘fear of commitment’ when it comes to gadgets I get through telcos. While I go gaga over them, I want to make sure I am not tied up to a plan that locks me in for a long time with the same gadget. After all, who knows what new phone they will be coming out next in just a few months. That’s why I am considering this.

But my general plan or approach in life took me a long time to articulate. It is this: Don’t primarily aim for riches. Aim for happiness. If what you are doing is fulfilling, the money will follow. If you are going mainly for the money, it is an empty quest. It has worked for me in more ways than I can possibly describe. To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, doors opened for me where there were none and led me to where I needed to go to follow my bliss. This intuitive approach tempered with some business savvy has helped me plan my career or ‘happiness’, so to speak.

* * *
Lastly, Everything is almost all set for an evening I am looking forward to. I have invited total strangers to a dinner in Puerto Princessa on June 15 at Ditchay Roxas’ resto in the city. This is the 4th time I do this but it is the first time it is held out of town. Zest Air will fly us to Puerto and back! Aquari Travelers Suites will host our lodging. The dinner will be at Puerto Princesa’ s best resto, La Terrasse and the menu prepared is really scrumptious. We have Ditchay Roxas to thank for that. This whole thing is called Passion Night 4.

Why have dinner with total strangers, you may ask? Why not! There is so much to learn from the unexpected. And I have noticed that great soulful conversations happen when people do not know each other and therefore have no pre-judgement.


This was the cast of Passion Night1. The group continues to meet from time to time.

I raise a toast to the unknown and the mysterious. They make life wonderful.

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