Venomenous Bites!–The Year-ender Song

I don’t know if it was the same with you but these people/events of 2003 got me emailing, commenting, cursing, applauding, laughing, crying, arguing, seething, clapping, etc. They were, to be sure, responsible for the level of sanity we now find ourselves as a people.

They sure stung us bad. Let’s hope it wasn’t fatal! As a way of saying goodbye to them, please sing the lyrics below to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”

Candidate GMA, Ping Lacson, FPJ,

Brother Eddie Villanueva, Senator Roco

Noli, Danding, Kris and Joey, Brat pack of the NPC,

Grin-go, Oak-wood, senate inquiries

REFRAIN: We didn’t start the fire. The world’s been burning since the world’s been turning…..

Jose Pidal, Bishop Yalung, Mike Arroyo, Ted Bacani,

Typhoons, flash floods, disaster in Leyte

STDs, SARS scare, coup d’etat, junta,

Peso devaluation, 55 to 1


Kidnappings unabated, Supreme Court versus congress,

SMC Boycott, bombings in Davao

MRT, Jingle stations, number coding, midnight madness,

Sea Games, PBA, Go Manny Pacquiao!


Back in court once again, Kuratong Baleleng,

Quezon City judge says Ping is innocent!

Computerization, Camacho resignation,

Al Ghozi executed, Commander Robot amputated!


Traf-fic, gar-bage, air pollution, demolition

Terror at the airport, bombings in Iraq

George Bush, Ka Blas, 10% amusment tax

Jemaiya Islamiya, and Abu Sayyaf


ABS-CBN, GMA Channel 7,

Sex Bombs, Ocho-ocho, and spagheti song

Station wars heat up, ratings, scandals

Midgets on Television, Mura at Mahal

S-Files, The-Buzz, Morning Girls, and Sis,



Did I miss out on anyone?

GOODBYE 2003. HELLO 2004!

Confessions of Youth and Angst


By Jim Paredes

(This article appeared about two months ago in a teen magazine called NEXT. I thought it would be good to share it with the young visitors of this blog. If you don’t think it applies to you, I promise a more adult entry next time.)

I remember being a very confused teen with angst written all over my face. I was a very intense young man who worried constantly about everything—from my pimples, my low grades, my “awkwardness” aggravated by self-consciousness, to my constant lack of money. Furthermore, it seemed I was almost always thinking of sex, or at least imagining having the ideal girlfriend. Looking back at how I was able to tide through my troubled teens, I zero in on a few things that made a difference. These were things I did which shaped me in big ways. Somehow, as I embraced them with passion, they gave me solace then and wisdom later on. Here are some things I must have done right as a young man then.

1) Reading—I always liked reading as a kid. But I took to it in a big way after I was assigned to read Pierre Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye in high school. I thought it was a book written for me. Then I started reading anything I could get my hands on—even books by Ayn Rand and Nietzche. To this day, I am a voracious reader sometimes devouring 5 books at a time. It has helped me grow emotionally and intellectually and it has expanded me in all ways.

2) Learning the guitar—This is a big one! The Beatles had the greatest influence on my generation. I loved the Beatles and I memorized every song they had. I felt that they spoke for me. Learning musical chords and expressing my moods and emotions through music gave me a rare glimpse into a parallel world where I could talk without words. I learned to not only play the guitar which made me popular and gave me confidence but also wrote songs which helped me cope with my teen angst! Music has served me and my family well as it not only gives me great satisfaction to this day but pays the bills, too!

3) Having had a deep spiritual experience—I hated retreats that a Catholic school upbringing forced on me. But I remember spending a weekend with my classmates in the very first Days With The Lord sortie. This intense religious experience gave me an anchor that helped me cope with the loneliness. I felt His presence and I KNEW there was a God watching over me. While my religious beliefs and convictions have changed since, I would like to think they have for the better. My acceptance and tolerance of other religions has spurred my spiritual growth and understanding of my own faith.

4) Having close friends of the opposite sex—I had two intense relationships in my teens. At least at that time I thought they were intense. I can only look back now and smile at what seemed then as very serious love affairs. There were many good things I learned about women and the sexual attraction and tension their presence brings to men’s lives. It is important that we know how to handle them. This is truly a life skill that requires never-ending learning throughout life. And I don’t think we can ever master the subject completely! My early relationships with the opposite sex as a teen gave me valuable insights on the meaning of love and the importance of friendship plus a deep appreciation and respect for women in general.

Reading, music, spirituality and relationships “saved” me from burying myself in self-generated angst as a teen. Sometimes, I wonder what I would have been if not for Pierre Salinger, John, Paul, George and Ringgo, that religious weekend and the first girls I loved who weren’t my sisters!

Christmas in Class

To all my students in both classes (Creativity, and Issues in Performance and Practice),

As I mentioned, I will not be showing up for classes this Tuesday, the 16th. On Thursday, please bring something for an “exchange gift” activity to mark the Christmas season and to spread good cheer. Some suggestions: a CD you are willing to exchange, or any gift not costing more than 20Pesos.

See you then.

Modern Day Beatitudes

(I am at the moment saddled with work and will not be able to write anything new. Upon the suggestion of Mike Palacios, I will, from time to time, be reprinting some of the stuff I’ve written for different magazines and books. At least there will be something new to read for people who visit my blog. I hope you enjoy this one).

Modern Day Beatitudes

Blessed are the strange, the weird, the people we laugh at, those who do not fit our mold, especially the socially wretched and despised. By their presence in our lives, they expand our reality—on our part, reluctantly and on theirs, so painfully—by forcing us to look at them in the hope that we see the God in them.

Blessed are the depressed and the addicted for they are called upon to demonstrate the healing miracles of God through their own awakening.

Blessed are the broken, those who fail, those who fall below our expectations for they are asked to show the rest of us that not being perfect is part of the human condition—that accepting our imperfection is the first step in our realization of the divine perfection of all that is.

Blessed are the nameless, the faceless the dispossessed—the refugees, the homeless and the poor for they point us to the way to compassion. By their sheer numbers, they tell us that ultimately, the experience of compassion is inescapable.

Blessed are the cruel, the calloused and uncaring, for on some deep unconscious level, they choose to delay their own liberation so that others may be ‘enlightened’ by their example.

Blessed are those who arouse us to anger, who bring out the worst in us, for they force us out of the denial that we harbor within—that we are hooked on them, that they resonate with something hidden inside us, and to break free, we must let go of our misguided moral superiority.

Blessed are those who cause us to suffer repeatedly by their mistakes, for they are our tutors who spend valuable time so that we learn our lessons well.

Blessed are those who do not seem to have a life, and especially those who do not have a choice—those who are physically debilitated, paralyzed or in a coma and cannot move, for they bring us a message that is lost in this age of frenzy—that to be worthy of God’s love, we need not strive to do or achieve anything, but simply be.

Blessed are all of us, for whatever condition we find ourselves in, we can choose to remember our true nature, our original blessing, our timeless

grace—anytime, any place, and always—and be happy in our Oneness.

(Lifted from ‘Between Blinks–More Random Takes on Everything’, by Jim Paredes , Anvil Publishing Inc., 2000 and updated October 2002)