Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Can it get better than this?

Posted on March 16, 2005 by jimparedes

Boboy, Danny and I walked with jaws dropped and in awe as we gazed at the walls of the corridor leading to our spacious dressing room at the Sycuan Casino Theater in San Diego. There on the walls were pictures of some of the idols we adored when we were still very young performers—the Kingston Trio, Smothers Brothers, Doobie Brothers, Little Richard, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli, Manhattan Transfer, among others. Their posters were signed and displayed there. What a thrill it was to know that we were now going to perform on the same stage the two sold-out nights of March 10 and 11, 2005. Who knows, maybe next time we come back, our poster will also be displayed there!

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The Doobie Brothers!

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The Great Smokey Robinson

I normally do not enjoy staying at casinos. They are almost always noisy places, and there’s too much smoking. Also, I don’t have the slightest interest in games of chance. But Sycuan was exceptionally pleasant mainly because our rooms were 5 miles away from the gambling area and surrounded by open air and a golf course. There were flowers and trees, walk ways and pathways and the nice California sun to enjoy. The accomodations were big, comfortable with living rooms for guests. And I had one all to myself!

A big surprise for me on this trip was that after the shows, I was able to get people interested in buying my books which we sold together with the APO CDs we brought! A casino after all seems to be the last place to read any of my writings. At least, that’s how it seems to me, ha ha!

The two shows went extremely well. The theater had excellent sound and lights. And it’s always great to be working with the best. Our musicians from Manila, Boyet Pigao, Ernie Baldjay, Noel Santiago, Colby Dela Calsada, JD Villanueva are seasoned and very able players who have been with us on many tours and recordings. Our lighting director Mike Rodas, now a resident of San Diego is, (to borrow a Smart line), simply amazing! Just take a look at that picture of APO below and see for yourself! Butch Dans, our sound guy and manager for the 1st leg of the tour is awesome even as he doubles as sound engineer. And Sammy Samaniego, assistant, road manager, photographer and all around trouble shooter is irreplaceable. The APO couldn’t have been more blest!

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Galing mo, Mike Rodas!

For this tour, we ‘untangled’ many of our hits from medleys where they had been ‘trapped’ in for years, and did them as stand-alones. It was fun since they sounded new to us again. And it was great that the audience lapped it up. As an artist who does his own material, there’s a lot I can say about our kababayans overseas. They have been, in m my opinion, one of the greatest supporters of OPM these past many years. Where people in the Philippines are getting daily, large doses of American Pop and expecting to hear their performers sing like their American idols, the overseas Pinoy wants the Filipino experience, which means the OPM songs they knew and loved when they were back home.

And when they like the entertainers, they really show it not only during the show but also after. We are always showered with gifts as a sign of their delight and gratitude. It isn’t uncommon that we come home with t-shirts, pants, jackets, caps, banners, souvenirs, CDs, candies, chocolates, even medicines and vitamins from doctors, nurses who can get them free from hospitals. They also host golf games for Danny and Boboy, feed us at restaurants and their homes, give discounts to us in stores and services where they work or which they own. During the last tour, I had three free haircuts, plus bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other stuff. To put it mildly, Filipino hospitality is unbeatable, for the simple reason that it is sincere and heartfelt!

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Mabuhay Ang Pinoy!

By tomorrow, I leave for Oxnard to stay with my sister and then do our Sacramento show at the Cache Creek Casino on the 20th of March. To perform music we make, and bask in the joy that the songs bring to people. Tell me, can it get any better than this?

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We’re on buses!

24 to “Can it get better than this?”

  1. ~C4Chaos says:

    wow! sounds like APO is having another gig to remember. yes Jim, i think people overseas support more OPM. my cousins who grew up in the states listen to more OPM (and watch more pinoy movies) than me. i think it’s a mixture of nostalgia for the oldies and desire to connect to one’s roots for the teens. i also notice that Filipinos who grew up in the states tend to be more religious, conservative, and appreciate the Filipino cultural arts more. it reminds me of Zen… Zen is now mainstream in the West but the majority of Japanese people don’t practice it. oh well…

    so, will APO ever have a gig in Seattle? 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    Hi Coolmel,

    Seattle for one reason doesn’t seem to firm up on time for the scheduled tours. The second leg is being planned as I write but I don’t think Seattle is included. I could be wrong though. I will know soon enough when I get home next wednesday.

    Your analogy to zen in Japan and the west is interesting. I guess one pines for home more when one is away.

  3. Anonymous says:

    hi, jim.

    i agree with coolmel about filipinos living abroad. i think i became more filipino when i left the philippines 9+ years ago. up to now, i still call going to the philippines ‘going home’ (and i know some people who have been away for over 30 years and still call it ‘going home). and as you said, ‘one pines for home more when one is away’.

    one thing hasn’t changed though – i still love the APO – always have, always will!

    APO forever!!!!

    see you on sunday!

    -maricar 🙂

  4. rach says:

    hi sir jim! 🙂

    great to know that you’re having a grand time.

    well, coolmel IS right. Though there are a lot of things here that are Filipino, it’s still not the same when you’re in the Philippines. The simple things I really, really miss are:-1)buying bbq along the side walk, 2)reading filipino works (when I went back last year, I made sure I visited the Filipiniana section sa powerbooks and I think I bought one book to bring here! 3) just the place… cozy … no pressure (ewan ko bkit hindi ko ma-feel dito yun, it’s like work..work.. and more!) ooppss… too long.. sori.. see u here in DUBAI!

  5. jAMesdLaN says:

    yes, mabuhay ang mga pinoy…. mabuhay talaga. ay ako nga pala si james. 1st year college taking up nursing…. la lang just wanna say that MABUHAY ANG MGA PINOY!!!

  6. peep says:

    watched you guys for the 1st time last year in april back in cincinnati at u.c. raymond walters. it made a huge impression on my two kids who spent majority of their growing up years here in the u.s. my then 17 yr. old daughter expressed overwhelming sentiments in an apo blog site. my wish is to see you perform again, now that we’ve moved here to florida, close to orlando.any chance you could swing down over in this area?

  7. Jonas Diego says:

    Hey Jim,

    I’m glad to hear that the APO still performs. I wish you guys get more gigs here at home. I miss the music and the comedy you guys do.

    I have some of the CDs and tapes but the laughter I get from the shows and TV stuff you guys did. 🙂

    More power!

  8. BOK says:

    Hi Jim,

    That’s another amazing concert or show that APO did in Sycuan Casino, never tired wactcing you guy’s perform. No matter what how old is the song they are great. Did you know that on my CD’s changer on my car all my APO cd are in my changer. I listen to your song everytime I drive anywhere. Jim I missed the selling of you book’s after the show please I need to have those book, where can I get them ? Do you have a website that I can purchase them ? Please let me know. More power to APO and looking forward to see you again ..

  9. Jim says:

    Maricar, as always, you are a true friend. Love you!
    Rach,there’s really nothing like the Pinoy experience of being back home.
    Jamesdlyan, salamt sa bisita.
    Peep–cincinnati was awesome. We went to Orlando last year. Who knows? maybe one of these months again..
    Jonas, yes, we should perform back home for an open audience soon. Puro corporate shows kasi ang trabaho doon.
    Bok, I will be selling books when we perform in Pala Casino on May 20. If you have a friend who’s gonna be going, let me know and I will set aside the 3 books para di maubos.


  10. Jenn - kewlit says:

    Hi Jim – Sycuan was great. I’m looking forward to the rest of both legs of the tour! Galing nyo talaga. No matter how many times I watch your show(s), you three never fail to make me laugh, sing along and smile. Especially when I hear “Panalangin.”

    Can’t wait for your photo session tomorrow! See u then.

  11. Anonymous says:

    sir jim!

    congratulations! my cousins in san diego went to see your show and they were more than happy to be there!:)

    and i’m sure your books would be instant hits too there — inspiring and encouraging — just the way they are hits here back home.:)

  12. Romesez says:

    Glad to find out about your blog from some of my friends at the blogkadahan. You may perhaps,find me visiting your site moreoften. Meanwhile, please permit me to include you n my “Favorites” section. God bless!

  13. Sef says:

    I am a fan of APO. I am very happy to have found your blog. Congratulations for staying in the scene for a long time and making more people happier listening to your music.

  14. Nate says:

    sir jim! wasup? just wanna tell you that i’ve already graduated. actually, WE’VE already graduated – your most recent batch of com14 students. we’ll miss you sir, together with all of our other former profs! hope you come back to teach in admu… especially since my brother is an incoming freshman – comtech din! – and will thus be taking com14 2 years from now. hopefully you’re back teaching it by then. if you’re interested to see some pics, they’re posted on my blog. sige sir, enjoy your US concert tour! hope to hear from you soon. God bless! 😀

  15. Diwa says:

    Awww.. Eh dito po sa Pinas, magso-show ba kayo? =)

  16. ilongga70 says:

    I haven’t seen the outside of this 3rd world country. Sa next nyo na trip, can u take me as luggage? hehe. kidding. More power to APO. God bless!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Jim.

    Yes, it can get better!

    Just got back from watching your concert at Cache Creek and am still HIGH! Galing-galing. Thanks for greeting me during the concert, my friend. Galing ng Birthday present mo. Love you, too!

    More, more, more!


    maricar 🙂

  18. a forgiven sinner's blessed soul says:

    Hi fellow-blogger Jim!
    Should I known that you were here in California, I could have arranged for an earlier vacation at work to see your concerts. Unfortunately, I have abused my VL and SL (I know you are smart enough to recognize these acronyms). Anyway, I enjoyed browsing through your weblog, mine is not as cool as yours, he he he. I hope you can visit our kababayans here at West Covina California…our church would love to hear you sing…puhleez???
    God Bless,
    Kristin Leehttp://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=keyten

  19. GreenMangoes says:

    it makes me proud also mr. jim! just by seing those kababayans that enjoyed the tour.. sana kapag ako naman ang OFW, mapanood ko muna kayo dito sa pilipinas.(kahit hindi front seat po, ok lang!) and this time the odds will never get a chance to be against me! hehehehe!!! by the way… about your book is it available now in bookstores? im so sorry, i wasnt been able to visit your journal these past few weeks… =) i was somehow fighting the demons in my life for the recent weeks.. =)

    anywei, its always been great and fun to visit here again and again. kapupulutan ko lagi ng makabuluhang pananaw.=)



  20. Ate Sienna says:

    psssttt.. lolo jim, uuwi po ako ng april 15.. asa pinas ba kayo nun??

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi!Mr.Jim..I`m Ghina..I`m
    not a blogger nor a berk,
    but I love bloghopping..
    I`ve got this thru my friend`s blog links(SAchi
    ko).This is my first time
    to be in this cyber world
    #shy#.I`m also here in Ja
    pan.Incidentally,I found
    out the APO Jukebox and
    WOW!!it`s like opening the Pandora`s Box..The mo
    ment was a glimpse of
    Whatever..”Batang bata ka
    pa”(I was genuinely bata
    at that time),I felt the
    song was made for me.My
    mother used to say those
    words when she was scold
    ing me.ha ha!!Made me cry
    alone..KAIBIGAN _is_ a treasure..I used to be the leader of a choir and
    we had some bible group-
    ings to diff.parts of the
    country.After some talks,
    we`d sing the song..,
    KAIBIGAN made a flock of
    people cry..Thanx to the
    APO juke box and more po
    wer to all you!!Do you have any concert scheds
    here in Tokyo(I can be there?!)Sorry..,I`M a trespasser..ha ha!!

  22. rmacapobre says:

    i am interested to know what is your take on some peoples opinion that filipino culture is a “damaged” culture. (i dont agree with it of course)

    i seem to remember the APOs being political at some point. but have been silent (or just busy with other stuff). what do you think of todays politics?

  23. Anonymous says:

    hi Mr. Paredes, i had the pleasure of meeting you, as well as Mr. Javier and Mr. Garovillo last May 14 at the Nipa Hut Restaurant in Temecula, Ca. (hehe, plugging ng resto). It was a very nice experience for me as i grew up to your music (yeah, as far as i can remember i’ve been singing your songs and ‘batang-bata ka pa” is my dad and I’s theme song). i’ve got some pics and i sent some copies to the APO website (hope i see it there soon). more power to you three and hope you come back again, God bless.


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