HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I thought I’d write about something different for today.
This being the time of the year when we both celebrate the wonderful, historic and inspiring events that took place on EDSA 22 years ago, and at the same time gnash our teeth and curse ourselves for what we’ve done with the golden opportunity years after, it is only fitting that I devote some space to this event that is indelibly part of our being the people that we are.
As I am writing this, I am taken back to a time in 1986 a few months after EDSA. Cory was installed president. I had just written Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo a few months earlier and still had not shaken off the high that came with the critical and commercial success of the song.
I wanted to do more stuff like it; I wanted to write not just the usual pop songs about love but songs with non-traditional themes, those not always associated with the current music played on radio. I wanted to write songs about current history.
I called award-winning writer Joey Reyes and asked if he was interested in collaborating on a song project for an album my friends Danny, Boboy and I were recording then. The vision I had was a song about EDSA in the style of Don Maclean’s American Pie, which was poetically cryptic and full of allusions. At that time, I remember being so mesmerized with Maclean’s musical narrative about the history of rock and roll. I wanted a song that would describe the events, people, movements and the zeitgeist that would describe our own recent history similar to that Maclean style, but in Pilipino.
Joey and I both agreed that the song should cover the breadth of pre-EDSA history up to the revolution itself. Below is what Joey came up with, lyric-wise. Try to identify which persons, places, movements or phenomena are being alluded to. Transport yourself to the time when events were unfolding dramatically during the sunset years of the desperate Marcos era and meander about up to the time the dictator was flown out to Paoay and on to Hawaii by helicopter. Try to recall the characters, the headlines, the spirit of the times. Now read Joey’s poetry and see how much you can identify.
Here are a few hints: There’s a US president alluded to, and a former priest turned rebel, an exile in Utrecht, a building that collapsed, “The True, the Good and Beautiful.”
Okay, that should help you get situated. The text below is very rich in historic allusion. Anyone who can decipher everything is a real history whiz.
If you want to listen to the music as sung by APO, you can go to http://apojim.multiply.com/music and look for the title below.
Kung Sino-Sino, Kung Saan-Saan
Words by Joey Reyes, music by Jim Paredes
Performed by APO Hiking Society
Hawak kong peryodiko
Na kung saan bawat tao
Minakinilya lang ang halaga
Siyang tula ang sandata
O silang may tapang kumanta
Ang dating sinusumpa’y ginawa ng bida
Iniwan ang kapilya niya
Sa bundok siya ay nagtago na
Walang altar kung saan siya nagmisa
Nagsilabasan ang hantik
Pati bundok mukha’y inukit
Nagsayawan kami hanggang umaga
Kung saan saan
Kilala ko sa pangalan lamang
Silang alamat, multo at talino
Bumubuo ng aking kasaysayaan
Pati dagat pinatuyo
Ngunit nang templo’y gumuho
Kami napipi sa madugong ganda
Ngunit langit ay nagdilim
Nang kalapati’y paslangin
At sa kalye ang luha ay bumaha
Mula sa pula niyang libro
Natuliro na lang si Pedro
Iniwan ang bukid at siya’s sumama
Sumabog ang entablado
Sinabayan ng delubyo
Binihag ang mga matatanda
Pati ilaw sa gintong telon
Hinugis ng munting alon
Ngunit sabi di yan ang totoo
May babaeng napaiyak
At luha naming pumatak
Tuyo na ang kamay ng babaeng pilato
Nagpainom si Pandora
Ngunit tumutol ang iba
Kaya naghikab na lamang ang demonyo
Sinimulan sa kandila
Liwanag niya’y nakagiba
Nag-alsabalutan ang tatlumpong balo
Bumalik na si Gabriela
Hindi itak ang dala niya
Kundi ulan may sinag na dilaw
Nakita ko sa may pintuan.
At siya’y napangiti lamang
Habang namulaklak ang bagong araw
Lahat sila’y nakatingin
Bibit ng ibon ang sakitin
Nilunod ng sigaw ang ating awit
Pati sila’y sumayaw na rin
Sa sari-saring tugtugin
Ang awit palang ito
* * *
The Tapping the Creative Universe (TCU) workshop begins its 38th run this March, fresh from a successful Sydney run last January.
Last week, I suggested to those who are in transition in their lives and paralyzed by inertia to just “jump and the net will appear.” If it doesn’t, what may happen is you may discover that you can grow wings!
This workshop will awaken your awesome creativity, which may have been dormant these past years, and give you on experience of unlimited joy, power and achievement. If you are in-between dreams, relationships, careers, lives, or feel that parts of you are stuck, this is the workshop for you.
TCU will be held from March 10 to 14, and concludes on March 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 113 B. Gonzales, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. The fee for the six-day seminar is P5,000.
Those interested can get a copy of the syllabus by calling 426-5375 or 0916-8554303 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to respond.