a song, a workshop and a farewell

I know this blog has been unusually quiet. I was wonderfully and unexpectedly gifted a very nice Mac Powerbook by Lydia but the unit I got was defective and was replaced only yesterday. I absolutely love this Mac. To use it is such a joy I’ve forgotten why I even went PC in the first place.

Been incredibly busy finishing a recording for an NGO group that wanted a song to inspire public teachers to encourage kids to read. I really like what I wrote. The study and final version was sung this afternoon by Agot Isidro who is such a joy to record–very professional and very good. When I get permission, I will include a link so you can hear it. Meanwhile, here are the lyrics.

By Jim Paredes

Believe in the power of your dreams
That every tiny prayer is never lost
But always heard and answered

Believe that you are not alone
That there lies in every heart
The longing to reach out and touch another

From a tiny acorn
Comes a mighty tree
Within us lies the answer
To how we can be free (Free to be all we can be)

Believe that we can change the world
It’s all within our hands
We have the power to make it so much better

Believe that God is on our side
That we will find the way
Each time we fall and stumble in the darkness

Believe and hold this to your heart
That every single time you open someone’s mind
You liberate a being

Believe that all was meant to be
That you are here to bring some light and hope
To comfort those who need it

From a tiny droplet
Can start a mighty wave
Nothing’s ever wasted
We can all be saved


Don’t believe it when they tell you
That there’s just no hope at all
Hold on to the strength within
The voice that says no one’s too small.


In between breathing, I also had to rush another recording the other night which was long overdue. But before that, my TCU workshop opened to a good crowd of 19 participants. It had a very nice vibe to it perhaps because it was in a new venue, my in-law’s house instead of the usual rented hotel function room. It’s good to be running it again. As always, I learn as I teach. I enjoy as I spread joy. I create as I am recreated.

I saved this news for last since it is the most serious.

My step father Othoniel Villafranca Jimenez died three days ago In Medical City due to complications brought about by lung cancer. Since my mom’s death eight years ago, I had seen him only once and just for awhile. I was able to see him again three days before he passed away. I saw him lying in bed very sick and almost unable to talk. I had a surgical mask on since I was told he had pnenumonia. When I saw him, he mistook me for my brother Raffy. I pulled down the mask to identify myself and held his arm while I massaged it. It had been years since I talked with him.

My last words to him that night was something that just jumped out of my heart as I watched him lie weak in bed. Even if ours was not an easy relationship, I whispered an ‘I love you’ to him and he answered the same–something we never said to each other in all this time. My voice broke somewhat just as I saw tears streaming down his cheeks. I gently pressed his arm one last time, turned around and left.

The next day, I visited him once more. He was all tubed up with life support and even as the doctors claimed he was not fully conscious, he was clearly restless, probably rebelling against the machines that were hooked up to him. He recieved his last rites last night in his room and when life support was withdrawn, he peacefully departed to be with his Maker. As my brother Raffy put it, we know he will find with his Creator the peace which life could not give him.

I write this with mixed feelings–sadness and a tinge of bewilderment as I grapple with that portion in my life with him which I am still trying to fully understand. Some things will take time to fully process. Otto, I wish for you eternal peace and joy as God takes all into His loving arms. No more pain and sadness. Only eternal love and acceptance. Godspeed!

22 thoughts on “a song, a workshop and a farewell”

  1. did you know that my nickname is ‘MAC’? my cousin gave it to me in the early 80s because he said ‘Maricar’ is still too long to be a nickname. 🙂 (BUT I still don’t have a MAC.) you used to have a MAC, right?

    Can’t wait to hear the song. The lyrics is so moving. It should be played everywhere and the Pinoys can learn and gain strength from it. Congratulations! You make me feel proud to be Pinoy!

    I’m sorry to hear about your stepdad. I’ll say a prayer for him and all those he left behind.

    I’ll email you some more. I have new pics I’d like to share with you.

    Thanks, Jim.

  2. Condolence to you. It has been a medical year for you. You guys getting sick and people dying. Just a reflection of the sick rotting corrupt system and people we have here.

  3. ny sincere condolences. the 2 deaths in my family this year (just 3 months apart) has brought in great pain. and i regret that i wasn’t able to tell my lolo that i love him before he died. lesson learned: tell the people you love that you love them before it’s too late.

    and that song, i was in tears after reading the lyrics. yeah, we all have to believe that life is good amidst all the chaos and the confusion.

    God bless you, sir.

  4. First of all, my sincerest condolences Mr. APO Jim. On your song, it was so inspiring, the minute I reflected and believed, a blessing we have long been patiently waiting finally came true. I am still amazed.

  5. at a time when people just seem to be throwing their hands up in the air, it’s nice to know that some people still “believe.”

    i can only hope that the song gets a lot of airplay in these troubled times. but i do wonder though if the reference to the acorn was appropriate. it doesn’t seem to be a rhyme. “seed” would have been fine, i suppose, but it’s just one syllable. but what do i know? =)

    anyway, i’d like to express my condolences re your stepfather. and good luck on the tour!

  6. An daming nangangailangan nya ngaun. Active poh ba kayo sa rock-ed sir?..

    Sir Jim, my friend po ako dito sa Iligan na sobrang galing kumanta. Halong Norah Jones and Monica and Kyla. She’s an underground legend here in Iligan. bka pow kasi me mga gigs kayo and kelangan nyo ng extra voice. am sure she’s willing to help. kahit ala ppong bayad basta ma bigyan lang xa ng break, I know she’s willing. Medyo underrated lang kasi sia kasi more on band ang mga gigs nya. I was hoping pow na makatulong kayo na bigyan xa ng break or something. It would be a shame kasi kung hahayaan lang ang talent nya. she doesnt know Im doing these. Thanks pow…

  7. my condolences Jim.

    “From a tiny droplet
    Can start a mighty wave
    Nothing’s ever wasted
    We can all be saved.”

    love this verse.

  8. my condolences…

    hey, you got your MAC!!! Tada! 🙂

    again, your blog is like a glass of cold water on a hot day 🙂

  9. hey jim, i’m really sorry about the passing of your stepfather. it seems to have been a rough few months for you and your family. i offer you my condolences

  10. maricar–hey mac, your sister is doing good in the workshop. Can’t wait to see your new pics.

    anonymous and everyone who sent their condolences, thanks for your prayers and thoughts. To one an onymous writer—hmmm. what was it that you were waiting for that the song seemed to announce?

    jey, vonjobi, and the frest who commented on the song== I hope to post it soon so you guys can listen to it. abangan,

    jed–I wish your friend luck. Medyo mahirap to help her from where I am right now. Who knows? talent always finds a way.

    doranne–loooove this powerbook!! thanks for the bisita.

  11. hello from san diego-
    please post song when you get the chance. us filipino public school teachers on this side of the world and all our students will benefit. 🙂 thanks.

  12. ok lang pow… i was hoping kasi na me mga NGO projects kau na lam na pede namin mapadalhan ng demo. thanks pow… Gud Luck and God bless..

  13. Sir Jim,

    I am glad that you got a powerbook! I love my titanium pb baby. Now you can update your site with a “made with a Mac” icon.

    I am sorry to hear about your step-dad’s passing. So much in life is put into perspective when juxtaposed with mortality. Only the Good Lord knows what is best for us when these things happen.

    Thanks for sharing your music. Teachers are very much neglected.

    Cheers, my friend!

  14. hi sir jim,
    i really like your entries, so inspiring, though we are being criticized by other bcoz of the corrupt pipol, i am still proud to say im a filipino, one reason is YOU!!!

    kip on uplifting the filipino spirits!!!

    can i post your song? thanks & godbless!

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