In the battlefield but not a warrior!

I have just come home from the Metropop thing. Man! I continue to be amazed even if this is my fourth participation with this contest. The 1st time was in 1981 where we (APO) won second place with the song Ewan. The second was in 2000 where we did not place as interpreters. The third was as judge two years ago, and the fourth was tonight.

Arnel, I thought (and everyone backstage, performers and composers agreed) did such a great rendition of my song Parang with his Don King hairdo. But alas, we did not place even if everyone thought we would. To be honest, I had no expectations. I purposely, deliberately did not allow myself to cling to any. Although the temptation to do so was great because of comments backstage and the thrill of competion, I’ve seen enough Metropops to know that it’s an anything goes kinda thing. I absolutely loved Bayang Barrios’ Malayo Man Malapit Din song and expected it to garner a top place. Agot and I were betting on it. and it did.

Working with Arnel and Ernie Baladjay (my arranger) was such a joy. That was the real reward. I felt I had understood Bhuddhist tenets and practice of non-clinging tonight by not putting any conditions to that. I was happy no matter what. Win or lose would not change it. And I feel good writing this because I pretty much stayed the course of non-conditionality without being aloof. or indifferent. “Be in the battlefield but be not the warrior”, ika nga ni Arunja sa Bhagavad Gita.

The thrill of meeting a lot of new friends and working with good musicians is immeasurable. I recommend every songwriter reading this to join Metropop. It’s one of the few things in the Philippines with integrity still intact. It is an honest contest which does not defer to stardom or seniority or reputation in choosing its winners. We may agree or disagree with their decision but I think we can all say that it is a REAL contest.

Mabuhay ang OPM. I’d like to know what you thought of the contest. Feel free to criticise. I take it rather well.

I will end this now cuz I’m reallly sleepy. One consuelo I have is that at least I don’t have to skip Sunday lunch and be in SOP to be congratulated again as a winner! Ha ha. Why do I imagine snickers from readers of this blog?

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