Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Journeys, Memories and Meeting ‘my Pilot’

Posted on March 07, 2005 by jimparedes

One of my dreams as a young man many moons ago was to able to travel to other countries. I was always fascinated with the exploits of Marco Polo, Ulysses, or even the tales of any relative who had gone to strange parts of the world. The lure of other lands was/is so strong that foreign accents actually excite me. Little did I know then that years later, I would be doing A LOT of travel.

I’m off again this Wednesday for three shows in California with APO. I will be back Holy Week for about a month and then return to the US for even more shows. After that, there is the big possibility of taking a short trip to Jakarta for a quick one before leaving again for 4 more concerts in the Middle East. Hopefully, from there we can connect to a few more shows in Europe since we are kinda near already. If I sound like I’m bragging, …OK, I probably am. Please forgive me since every trip really excites me. Having a ticket on hand is like an open-ended invitation to adventure.

I have been to every continent except the North and South Poles. But there are still many places unexplored. I would still like to go and see both the decadent but fun Rio and Sydney Mardi Gras, visit Egypt, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Morocco, Machu Pichu, return to India, Russia and Nepal. I like the slightly or very off-the-beaten-track destinations. Next to what I have now, one of the best jobs I can think of is that of Discovery Channel’s intrepid Ian Wrightl. Man…to go to exotic places, eat strange food, meet people of other cultures and rough it up is my idea of fun. But I still will insist on decent toilets though! Ha ha! Can’t wait.

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–I found a box of old betamax tapes and through the aid of a friend who lent me an ancient beta player, I was able to watch old footages of my kids growing up, APO’s earlier years, and other family stuff.. Sigh! I saw Erica and Ala who were 8 and 4 years old then running, biking and shouting around the garden like there was no tomorrow. How time flies!. It’s hard to imagine although you know it as fact that people do grow up. And the older ones even die. There was precious footage of my deceased beloved mother-in-law singing ‘I just Called To Say I Love You’ which made my dad-in-law teary-eyed yesterday when I showed it to him.

I viewed some of APO’s tapes which were some 20 years old. The performances that I felt then were not so good turned out to be surprisingly much better than what I had anticipated. Those that I thought were terrific were just so- so. It’s more fun to watch the routines and shows that I had already forgotten probably because I can appreciate them now without any preconceived notions.

I speak for my generation when I say we didn’t have that many pictures growing up and absolutely no video footage of our childhood. I guess that’s why my memories of youth are more golden since my mind has ‘rearranged the furniture’, so to speak, processing, tweaking, highlighting certain things admittedly at the expense of others and making more sense of the ‘movies in my mind’ now as an adult. These days, technology is so all-pervasive such that one can literally be conceived, born, live all the stages of life, die, get cremated or be buried and be totally filed, recorded, shot, documented all throughout! That’s why it’s interesting to ask or speculate on which can better tell the story of a life— the impressions of poetic memory or literal chronicles? The first one has the power to create myth while the other because it is literal has the power to kill it.


I always entertain the thought, especially before a trip that anything, including the unforeseen can happen— or to be morbid about it, I could die in a crash or whatever. After all it happened to my dad. He died in plane crash with the late President Magsaysay at 42 years old while coming home from Cebu. To be honest, the prospect of death by itself does not really strike fear in my heart. It’s the thought of leaving my loved ones behind to fix and clean up after that concerns me more. Anyway, should anything happen, among my bilins is that this poem be one of those read at my wake. When I first came across this in high school, I was just so drawn to it that I have even been reciting it to myself occasionally since then.


Crossing The Bar
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

If I don’t meet my pilot yet (a likely but not guarranteed prospect), I shall be back with more stories!

22 to “Journeys, Memories and Meeting ‘my Pilot’”

  1. sachiko says:

    As always, you never fail to amazed me with your posts. After each reading, I always stop and ponder. There’s always something spiritual in your words.

    Bon voyage and wish you luck and power in all your shows. Hope to see some photos on your blog when you get back?! Be safe ho.. :)

    Btw,I posted my photo on my blog. Thought I’d invite you to peek so to give you a face behind the words. Susme,napansin ko palagi yata akong may comment sa blog ninyo, baka akala ninyo talaga na eh,mukha akong geisha,dahil sachiko nga.LOL!

  2. Anonymous says:

    do you have any plans of coming here to hawaii??? i’d be really thrilled if APO would make a stop here even if you’ll only sing one song…basta kantahin niyo “ewan”. please naman o! punta kayo dito!

    sharmi

  3. Letty says:

    Bon voyage and good luck in all your concerts abroad.

    Do you have plans of coming visit or concert here in Europe.

  4. Jim says:

    Sachiko,

    Heeeeeey! You really look so good! I visited your site awhile ago. I’m not just a fan of your daughters, pati nanay nila!! heh he!

    Sharmi and Letty, please do check the apo page (htp://apohikingsociety.org) once in a while. Soon we will be making an announcement about the upcoming scheduled shows. I really hope they will be able to include Hawaii and a little bit of Europe.

  5. sachiko says:

    Si Mr.Paredes pala ay marunong ding mang asar :) haha!
    salamat pows.

  6. ~C4Chaos says:

    hataw talaga APO. godspeed on your tour. i hope next time Seattle will be on APO’s itinerary :)

  7. bu says:

    “the world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page” – so says augustine.

    so let’s continue to conquer the world, mr jim, but come back yet and meet the “pilot” someday, somehow.

  8. maiji says:

    another well-written and insightful post… i like that you write in simple but thought-provoking terms…

    Keep on writing Mr. Jim

  9. Anonymous says:

    “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

    Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C

  10. Jet says:

    Why is it that we turn a tad morbid whenever we embark on a journey? Or maybe that is just the order of things and there’s nothing really ethereal about it. Maybe it’s the thought of wanting to be home, even before we have a foot out the door? Thus we think of the many things that could happen to bar us from coming home.

    I, too, have thought about what I would like to happen on my funeral. I know it may not be original and I don’t know how people would take to it but I want dance music to be played, I want my family and friends to somehow be uplifted. I want them to regard my life with happiness and the culmination of it, a celebration, if for nothing else but that I have loved them and that I was given a time to act on that love. That, for me, is enough of a life.

    Happy and safe journeys, to you and to all in your group. :

  11. - she - says:

    Have a safe trip. You’re really lucky to have been to so many places. I love travelling too and so far have been blessed with a job that makes that possible. Although I’ve never been to as many places as you have. Yet.

    It’s always great to look back and revisit past memories that have brought tears and smiles, or lessons that have shaped what our lives have become. And even the ‘literal chronicles’ of our lives mean only as much as the memories they stir in our hearts.

    As for meeting ‘your pilot’, we’ll all get to meet him eventually. Personally, I don’t think that death is something we should fear. But it’s not something that we can prepare for either. It’s just a fact of life. For me, what matters are the memories that we leave behind, and whether or not we lived the life that we were supposed to live.

    Looking forward to your next post. :)

  12. BabyPink says:

    have a safe trip, sir jim! my prayers are with the APO…:)

    you can’t meet “the pilot” yet, i haven’t seen APO live pa and we haven’t met pa eh. hehehe;)

  13. rach says:

    before i was scared to meet the Creator. I think the fear was because of missed opportunities and of course losing my love ones. I might never have the same sister or brother but all those thoughts got washed away one night. I still have fear (sometimes) but if the pilot says it’s over… I guess that’s the final answer.

    I just wish that before He does, I’d be able to do something you know, that can make me proud of my life.

    Can’t wait to see you and the rest of APO!!! =)

  14. Claud says:

    Bon voyage! :)

    >hay, as for me, i don’t wanna die yet. andami ko pang gustong gawin… i haven’t lived life to the fullest.. JUST YET.

    >gusto ko rin mag-travel kaso di puwede…

    Share ko lang po. :)

    Ingat! God bless!

  15. cami says:

    very nice post sir. akala ko po ako lang ang nagsesentimyento ngayong mga panahong ito.. hehe

    gusto ko din mag-travel. maka-labas lang ako ng bansa ok na saken. hehe nung buhay pa nanay ko, promise ko sa kanya pupunta kami sa holy land, pag doctor na ako. gusto ko pa din tuparin yun. :)

    goodluck po sa shows and have a safe trip. :)

  16. Major Tom says:

    Greetings Sir Jim…I found out that you are not only an excellent singer-songwriter but also a sublime storyteller. I was caught in a whirl by this trip down memory lane.

    Your father was a hero then and he passed away while serving his country. I didn’t know you had a famous father for a famous son.

    My favorite APO song is “Unang Halik” and “Tuyo Nang Damdamin”. They are so melodic and the best of all.

    Thnaks and more power.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jim,

    We met a few times in the States (Chicago and Tampa). I that goofy guy that owns that cell shop in Chicago. I’m sure you don’t remember all that.

    Anyway, about the places you wanted to visit, I agree with most of them, and would also like to suggest including Prague on your list (unless, of course, you’ve been already, then never mind). In case yoou haven’t, it really is an amazing place to be. Old World meets New World kind of thing.

    And good luck to your U.S. Tours this year. I didn’t hear of a Chicago stop (I’ll check with Gina Go) and if you’re not stopping I’ll catch you boys somewhere in the States.

    Did you get a Mark II yet, by the way?

    John
    Planet Mobile (Chicago)

  18. cia says:

    I feel the same way about traveling. I live in NYC but I feel more excited when I know I’m leaving my comfort level.

    I want to share with you my experiences in Mexico and Cuba, two places on your travel wish list. Just click the the red dots on the map below:
    http://www.ext212.com/lakbay/

  19. Mec says:

    but you know what… sometimes, in the process of growing up… we do forget…

    and watching videos of us when we were young and being kissed and cuddled and just loved… might remind some of us that we were indeed loved…

  20. never_mind_me says:

    it so rocks to be an artist and travel all over! =)

  21. Survivor_Lady says:

    i’ve read all your posts and it made me inspired. just like you i love travelling too, i almost travel all over the Philippines. Now im here in Davao which i have a lot of field work here in Mindanao. . .

    GOD BLESS YOUR trip always. I wish to hear your song “PANALANGIN”, sana live. By the way, nagkasakay tayo before sa airplane, hiya lang po ako approach though you look approachable…

    ’till next time

  22. Jim says:

    Hi Survivor Lady, Everybody Loves Me, Cia, Mec, Anonymous, major tom, cami, rach. bu, coolmel sachiko, etc.. I hope I have not missed anyone. I opened my page and so many responses!!

    Thanks. Am on the road and will post again soon. salamat sa bisita.



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