All posts by jimparedes

Jim Paredes--artist, photographer, writer, teacher, scuba enthusiast, environmentalist, husband, father, grandfather, migrant, Filipino

A Guitar story

In the late 1980’s, the late guitar legend Rudy Lozano who had played in a lot of APO’s albums sold me his old Fender Telecaster. I was quite happy to have acquired it then even if I hardly played it. I had other guitars and I preferred to play my acoustic ones. It was my son Mio who had just learned to play who ended up taking more interest in it. In fact, he played it a lot.

When we moved to Sydney in 2004, my son joined a band. He used the Fender Telecaster in many gigs. When he lost interest with the band, the guitar was set aside. It was not played for years. About a month ago, I opened the Fender case which had remained closed for a long time and tried to play the guitar. It was in awful shape. It was hardly playable. It sure needed a lot of fixing. One pick-up had stopped working. The strings definitely needed to be changed. And the bridge was very misaligned.

With my old/new Fender Telecaster

When I brought it to the guitar store and opened the case, the man receiving it exclaimed loudly, ‘Well look what we have here folks!’. He was quite surprised at what he was looking at and he turned ecstatic as he stared at my old guitar. He said it was quite a find. A person beside him started to google to find out what year it was made. It turned out that it was a 1974-75 model. Someone in the store suggested that it could easily sell for 15K Aussie dollars! I could hear ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ everywhere. Everyone in the store had gathered around admiring it.

But the ecstasy changed quickly when an old man who worked in the store asked why I had changed one of the the pick-ups. He asked me if I still had the old one. And he noticed the bridge was not original and that there were changes made in the string apparatus of the guitar. Almost immediately, the speculation about the appraised value of the guitar started to go down quickly from the princely price of 15K to a measly 800 AUD!

Curious about the old man’s comments, I immediately called my son and asked him if he had made any changes to the guitar. He said yes he did. He changed one of the pick-ups to a hum bucking oner. And no, he does not know where the original pick-up wis now. When I turned off the phone, I laughed at the situation . How could luck change so quickly. I told the people who worked in the store that I just wanted it fixed. And no, I was not interested in selling it. The small crowd that had gathered immediately dispersed.

After three weeks, I picked up the Fender Telecaster from the store. I was glad I had it fixed. I played it before paying for it. It felt new and very solid. I loved the feel.

Now that it in great condition, I plan to play my Fender Telecaster as much as I do my Spanish acoustic guitar.

This is one of my resolutions this 2021.

My social media links

Even if APO ended about 10 years back, I have not stopped writing songs and recording them. I have done 3 solo albums since and did collabs with The Bloomfield, and Faith Cuneta. Last year Boboy and I collaborated and sang Quarantine Baby and Friends in Music, our latest release.
I was 14 when I wrote my first song. I am still writing, singing, and recording to this day. I just love bringing creations in my head to life. My songs are like my children. Some are easily likeable and charming. Others are more laid back, late bloomers who take more time to warm up to you. I a a prolific father musically. If I don’t record them, it is like I committed creative abortions.
http://jimparedes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Screen-Shot-2021-01-05-at-11.00.28-pm.png
I would like to invite you to subscribe to my Jim Paredes Spotify account , and my Jim Paredes Youtube Channel and listen to my many children. You may enjoy them.

Spotify: Jim Paredes
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTK3drP9F_h0Jq1b4DvxeSA
Twitter: jimparedes

Friends in Music Video

Our tribute to all the people we have performed with. WE DEEPLY REGRET THAT WE DO NO HAVE PICS OF EVERYONE. These include management, musicians, arrangers, singers, technicians, stage people, producers , TV people ad fellow performers, friends in school, fans who were part of our long career. This is our simple way of saying THANK YOU.. I wrote this decades ago. We have only sang it about 4 times. It is time to give it a proper recording. The title on youtube is Friends in music 2021

Songwriting workshop 2021

My rough, working studio

Here’s something to look forward to this 2021.
Announcing my 7th Online Songwriting Workshop Schedule.
When: January 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31
Time: 9am to 11 AM (Manila Time)
Each class runs for 2 hours.
Participant must have some proficiency in playing guitar or piano. This is a hands-on class and will require students to write at least 4 new songs during the run.
Send me a message here or on FB messenger for details.

Goodbye 2020, hello…?

We have lost so much.

We have lost our jobs, savings, a big piece of our lives, our access to streets, restos, vacations spots, destinations, concerts, gyms, our regular schedules, normal routines, physical contacts with friends, communities, and so much more.

We have also lost the world we knew, lived and operated in. We have lost a sense of the continuity of the world, and life as we knew before. Gone are many of the assurances, safety nets that our civilisation had painstakingly through the centuries put together for us to live and enjoy life with reasonable predictability.

Instead, we have seen ourselves stuck in the tiny shrinking spaces of our homes, rooms and domiciles. Everyday, we eat in our same small space, see the same people and try to build a ‘normal’ life around our great fear of covid. We protect our turf and our health with social distancing, masks, face shields and disinfectant.

Our spatial and time borders have changed. We can’t drive or travel too far. Every day and weekends have all become the same. The distinction has disappeared. No more regular and ‘special’ days.

We have been deprived of being with nature and enjoying it. We have not been allowed to go to our spiritual comfort spaces, our churches and places where we used to go for solitude. When was the last time we hugged our friends? Or got hugged back by people who do not live with us?

2020 has been a tragic year for many. We had friends and relatives who had died, and we were not allowed to physically mourn our dear departed. We could not even bury them with love, and honor them by being there.

And while all of this was happening, we have unconsciously buried our emotions in fear and anger. Not many of us have taken pause to see what is truly happening inside ourselves. The truth is, we are in great mourning. We have lost the world we once lived in. We are also in trauma because of the tragedies that have assaulted us almost daily. We may not feel it but we are suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disease.

2020 has been vicious, and it is ending tomorrow. Many are relieved that a new year is ahead of us. But how sure are we that things will get better in 2021? We have so demonised 2020 that many of us actually believe that when it leaves, it brings with it all the ill effects of Covid 19, and that normality will return. But it is entirely possible that this horrible year is just the beginning of a long curse, a pestilence that will continue to inflict pain upon humanity globally. After all, the entire world is in medical, environmental, psychological, moral and spiritual crises.

A man of tribal origins once told me that the Universe was like a table which should be standing on 4 legs. The problem is it has only been standing on two legs for so long and it will take cycles of 25,000 years to acquire its third and fourth legs. And that is why the world is in constant crisis.

Metaphorically, he is correct in explaining how and why things are bad right now. In this eve of 2021, how should we feel? As we gather among remaining family members and very few friends while toasting our glasses to the coming year, should we be hopeful, or pessimistic?

Covid has undermined everything. It is as if all of humanity has been told that we cannot go back to how things were. We have all been kicked out of Eden. The gates have been locked. There is no returning. To survive, we must all think and act as one. We are not separate from everyone. In fact, we already know that a few careless, thoughtless infected people can spread the virus in a home, a whole street, neighbourhood, community, city, country, continent, and the whole world.

To avoid infection, we must always be conscious of his state of our own physical being, where we are going, what we are doing, and plan ahead so that we and every one else we encounter are safe. Casualness produces casualties. In fact, we should wear our masks and take all precautions not just for ourselves but primarily for others. In this new set up, either everyone is safe, or no one is. Their safety is our safety.

In short, and as simple as it can be said, if we want to be hopeful in building a post-covid new world, we must live consciously at all times knowing each one of us holds the key to saving the world from further chaos and destruction.

Friends in Music

We had song we only sang during huge concerts with APO Hiking Society. Since we disbanded more than 10 years ago, I thought we should immortalise this and record it properly. You can go to Spotify. or Apple Music and listen to our new recording.

If this does not open, just go to Spotify and type Friends in Music, or Jim Paredes.
Vid to follow on Jan 4, 2021

A spot-on homily for these crazy times

I am not what you would call a religious man. Far from it. But sometimes, I come across homilies that are very inspirational. Much has been said about Christmas. Many of them are repetitions of what we’ve heard since we were children. Here’s one that was written decades ago that still amazes me with its beauty and deep insights.

Beautiful! A read for these crazy times.

AT the former St. Thomas More chapel of Ateneo de Manila on Padre Faura, the celebrant was a Jesuit priest who had just finished his doctorate at Harvard University….

“Christmas is when we celebrate the unexpected; it is the festival of surprise….
This is the night when shepherds wake to the song of angels; when the Earth has a star for a satellite; when wise men go on a fool’s errand, bringing gifts to a Prince they have not seen, in a country they do not know.
This is the night when one small donkey bears on its back the weight of the world’s desire, and an ox plays host to the Lord of heaven. This is the night when we are told to seek our king, not in a palace, but in a stable.
Although we have stood here, year after year, as our fathers before us, the wonder has not faded; nor will it ever fade; the wonder of that moment when we push open that little door, and enter, and entering find a mother who is virgin, and a baby who is God.
Chesterton has said it for us all: The only way to view Christmas properly is to stand on one’s head. Was there ever a home more topsy-turvy than on Christmas, the cave where Christ was born?
For here, suddenly, in the very heart of Earth, is heaven; down is up, and up is down; the angels look down on the God who made them, and God looks up to the things He made. There is no room in an Inn for Him who made room and to spare, for the Milky Way, and where God is homeless, all men are at home.
We were promised a savior, but we never dreamed God Himself would come and save us. We know that He loved us, but we never dared to think that He loved us so much as to become one of us.
But that is the way God gives. His gifts are never quite what we expect, but always something better than we hoped for. We can only dream of things too good to be true; God has a habit of giving things too true to be false. That is why our faith is a faith of the unexpected, a religion of surprise.
Now, more than ever, living in times so troubled, facing a future so uncertain, we need such faith. We need it for ourselves, and we need to give it to others.
We must remind the world that if Christmas comes in the depths of winter, it is that there may be an Easter in the spring.”
–Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ.

The miracle for today

Glenwood rainbow

Things I love about where we are in Aus are sights like these. After a downpour in the afternoon, the sun comes out briefly together with a rainbow. We get so excited that everyone at homes comes out to look at it. Some of our neighbours do the same. What at a sight to see. Actually, today it was a double rainbow.I swear I took shots of it but I accidentally erased them . Oh well!

Miracles happen daily. I believe it. We just have to pay attention.