Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

‘cold’ facts and 1000 weekends!

Posted on February 12, 2006 by jimparedes
Global Warning: The cold fact is it’s getting warm

It’s quite an unusual time for the Northern part of the world where I am now, Canada to be exact. It’s February and it is supposed to be the coldest time of the year and yet there is no snow to be seen in Calgary. There was little snow in Edmonton but not enough to really notice. Sure the river was slightly frozen but eople here say they are enjoying a very mild winter. I checked on weather.com a while ago and it looks like it will be mild the next few days. And even if I’m feeling quite cold (coming from the tropics), there will be no life threatening blizzards for Nanuk the Bear in Canada this year.

What is quite alarming is the story I picked up today on the BBC website. It says that the northern parts of the world are going through the warmest winter in a millennium! (Gulp). Are we really heading towards global warming? If it is true as Al Gore says that we are nearing the tipping point where the environment will be altered by man forever, then we may be seeing the last few decades of much of the Philippines’ existing geography. With sea waters set to rise by as much as 5 meters, it’s goodbye to Malabon, Manila, Pasay and a few hundred or even thousands of islands in the Philippines.

Years ago, global warming was just a hypothesis but now it’s becoming a reality..and fast! Wake up everyone, most especially George Bush.

‘it was 30 years ago’

We did a concert in Edmonton two nights ago at the Jubilee theater and it was a blast! Had a really great time with the virgin crowd who watched us for the very first time. The venue was a beautiful opera house, and the people were warm and so wanting to enjoy a good concert.

APO during rehearsals and doing the real thing!

On February 14, we will be having a Valentine’s Day show here in Calgary. The last time we were here was 31 years ago. Imagine that! A great portion of our audience was not even born yet. I can’t hekp but think of the Stones and although they are years older than we are, I feel a great kinship with them. APO’s cumulative age is 166–still lower than the Stones’ 270 something. But then there’s 5 of them. Nevertheless, that’s a lot of years and I am proud to say, a lot of experiences earned which somehow translates to a good time for us and for our audience. My bones may ache now and then from the cold, and I may wake up early everyday now like an old man, but I am a kid when I am doing a concert. We thank God that we are blest with such an activity that not only makes us happy but pays our bills! Maybe Mick Jagger is right. Good things do last forever!

Just Do It!

We are migrating soon, and lately, I have been having dreams that somehow are connected to Australia. My dreams are about packing, setting aside some stuff and throwing away some, driving on the other side of the road and that sort of thing. I guess it’s the way my mind is psyching itself up for the big move.

There are days when I feel quite depressed about migrating and question the wisdom of it, and the ‘folly’ of migrating leaves me with cold feet. At other times, I wake up and I am so excited about this new era in our family life that is about to unfold. It’s the yin pulling the yang and vice-versa. It’s the pair of opposites vying for my attention. Neale Donald Walsch in his book Conversations With God Book 1 says that anytime you experience your greatest love, you will also experience your greatest fear. I guess that explains my see-saw ride of emotions about leaving. My consolation is something I picked up from someone who was urging me to just do it. She told me that years from now, I will most likely regret more the things that I never did than the things I actually did.


Except for the Snow

I love Canada, especially the way it is so subdued and laid back. The people are nice and friendly. I had considered migrating here but decided against it largely because of the weather. I remember driving with a friend in Toronto one spring day years ago and I pointed out a nice mansion we passed and commented that I wanted a house just like it. Almost immediately, my friend retorted that I would hate shoveling snow in the winter just to get out in the morning, and shovel again just to get back home. Oo nga naman.

That’s why I took a look at Australia and chose it.

converting 1000 to eternity

Winter makes me think of ‘old people’. I may feel young but to some, being in one’s 50s may seem ancient. If you know someone, or have parents who are already in their 50s or more, consider this: the most realistic age they can still be around and in relatively good health (statistically speaking) is 75 years old. If they are 55, that leaves them with 20 years, or 1020 weeks left! That’s not a lot! Sure they can live longer but at 75, they will probably slow down considerably. For many it may even be earlier.

To you young people reading this blog who do not give a thought about spending time with your folks, think about the 1000 weekends and you will realize that every weekend you don’t see them is an opportunity missed.

How am I going to spend my last 1000 weeks? Hmm.. Not sure exactly though I do know that I’ve bumped into enough trees and boulders and stumbled on rocks and fallen on crevices in the past to know the lay of the land and navigate my way better. Right now, much of what I see before me are opportunities for growth, awareness, consciousness, love and bliss. Or at least I’m finding myself in this mindset and living there quite often.

Every day is a good day, as my zen teacher says!

Every moment is new and renewing, each moment a fresh ‘now’. Any of us can leave this earth any time. I know young people think they are invincible and death is just an intellectual concept, and so can be dismissive of the subject, as I was then. But look at the ULTRA tragedy or even the passing of Rico Yan a few years back. Gone just like THAT. But one doesn’t have to be morbid and dwell on it endlessly or be cowardly and avoid the topic. A truth I have awakened to is that every minute leading to the end has the potential to feel like the wonderfully blessed eternal. I’ve experienced it quite a few times and I’m spending the next 1000 weeks there. At least as much as I can! Believe it or not, I am ‘there’ right now (or is it ‘here’?) as I am writing this down! This day is a good day!

0 to “‘cold’ facts and 1000 weekends!”

  1. cindy says:

    hello jim, more power to you. i know that you would do good in australia.

  2. jey says:

    yeap, sir, every day is a good day!

    thank you for reminding me that.:)

  3. Screwed-Up AKA SnglGuy says:

    Heya Jim, glad to read that the concert went well.

    Time does fly fast doesn’t it? Seems like only yesterday I was in my twenties… now I’m a friggin 45 year old guy.

  4. Senorito<- Ako says:

    very interesting post. 🙂

    I chose NZ over canada 1. because of the weather 2. paper works for canada is nauseating !

    Your 1000 weekend arithmetic got me thinking. Lalu kong na miss si Ma at si Pa.

  5. isay says:

    friends of a friend were able to watch your concert-my friend who’`ll be donating a kidney to her sister in USA tomorrow gave away the tickets to them.

    all the best for tomorrow.

  6. Jim says:

    cindy–salamat. more power to you as well.

    jey–yes, it is! evbery moment that matters begins were we are right now.

    snglguy–yup. time is that fleeting element that always screams at us to remind us to use it well.

    senorito–NZ is a beautiful place. I will bring my kids there one of these days pag settled na kami sa OZ.

    isay–my prayers and good wishes go out to your friend who will be undergoing the operation. Speedy recovery for her and for her loved one.

  7. BabyPink says:

    hello sir jim.:)

    ang ganda what you said about spending as much time with our parents. made me want to fly bck home just to give my parents hugs.:)

    i have a ticket na… woohoo!:)

  8. enigma says:

    what U wrote made me realize a lot of things. thanks a lot Jim!

  9. thelmsky says:

    i feel sad about u leaving. it wouldnt be the same…

  10. ~C4Chaos says:

    hi Jim,

    regarding global warming… i don’t know. i’m still torn between two camps: the doomsday camp, and the optimistic cynic camp.

    on the doomsday camp are all the scientists and politicians shouting global warming, climate change, our ass is toast if we don’t change, and what not.

    on the optimistic cynic camp are intelligent people whom i respect (e.g. Michael Crichton, Ray Kurzweil) who maintains that The Future Can’t Simply be known. although i follow the Climate Change issue, the logic of the latter camp appeals to me more. besides, if the doomsayers are right, then our ass is toast already anyway 😉

    godspeed always on your gigs… will keep waiting here in Seattle 🙂

    ps. i’m not making this up…. a couple of nights ago i dreamt of you Jim… you’re having a tough time deciding to migrate to Australia… can’t remember the details, but i’m sure i dreamt it.

  11. milkphish says:

    my family migrated to california back in the 1970’s when i was 11 yrs. old.

    it was fun at first . . . learning to wash the dishes, learning to wash and iron the clothes, learning to prepare the meals. But the novelty wore off for me and my older sister after only one year.

    i couldn’t figure out the logic behind my parents’ decision to migrate. we had a nice, new home in manila, three maids, two yayas, a driver. my parents were doing good financially and their jobs were stable. this was during the marcos era – in the middle of martial law, and my parents felt that their children would have a better future elsewhere.

    you know how amerika is percieved as the land of opportunity? people from the philippines are able to get equal footing and finally are able to get a decent job, buy a car, etc . . .
    well, in amerika, we became poor . . . i mean really poor. my mother was not able to get a decent job until a few years later. she was a fine-arts professor in manila, but in amerika, she wasn’t considered a teacher. my dad’s CPA license was not valid, so he became a mere bookkeeper, earning a measly $800 per month with a wife, 3 daughters, 1 baby, apartment rent, car payments, etc… in between my dad’s paycheck, we would count pennies just to be able to buy milk for the baby.

    relatives in manila mocked and shook their heads. how could we leave our nice, comfortable life in manila?

    it took us a while to be stable, because my dad eventually got his CPA license, we bought a home, etc… but i don’t think my older sister and i were really able to get used to it.

    i’ve been trying to find my way back home. but just when i thought i would be able to, i got married. now, my next chance would probably be in 8 years, after both kids are off to college.

    p.s. i’ve always collected APO’s records and tapes over the years . . . APO’s music was one of the things that kept me sane. I saw the APO concert in Los Angeles about 20 years ago . . . thank you for that.

  12. Jim says:

    enigma, babypink–thanks and see you sa concert!

    thelmsky–people come and go in life. It’s not meant to be the same forever. The next two years will be the big unknown for me.

    coolmel–I hope your dream isn’t prophetic. But it’s true, I struggle about leaving and staying. It’s a push and pull, pero tuloy na ito.

    milkphish– thanks for sharing. I’ve heard a loyt of stories like yours. I can understand where your parents were coming from especially since it was martial law. In our case, we’ve always wanted to live abroad for awhile–at least for me. For my kids, bahala na sila.

  13. balikbayan_box says:

    hello neyburhud!

    just got back from a long vacation in the Phils (Davao) and i finally completed my personal copies of your books. Yehey!

    And now im back to Vancouver, a part of Canada na di gaanong di na daanan ng snow. Sayang dito na lang sana kayo hehehe

    But i know you and your family will love Australia plus mas malapit pa sa Pinas.

    All the best and God bless!

  14. KaDyo says:

    He who has faith has… an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well -even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts…God bless you & your family always..happy valentines too =D

  15. Anonymous says:

    wow, sir Jim, I can’t believe that you’re migrating abroad.

    oh well. if well-off people like you still leave, then I guess there’s no hope for the rest of us.

    sometimes I go to these rallies and other idealistic causes and wonder if it’s really still all about conviction or fighting for something I believe in or am I doing it because it’s the only thing left for me to hold on to?

    They say that if you can’t beat them, join them. i’m tired of beating people who leave. Sadly, I can’t join them either. I have a degree in Liberal arts, and no matter how I try I’m still very poor. I’m stuck. In here.

    sorry. I’m just sad.

  16. Anonymous says:

    hi jim,

    i am del and gmp, your elder brother, used to be my boss at rcpi. when i read about your sydney plans, i immediately e-mailed him to confirm if it is true. and yes, he confirmed the news.

    anyway, i got interested in the news because i have always been a fan of apo and because i personally know boss gabby. in fact, you gave one of the talks in our team-building activity sometime march 2003. lastly, i got interested because i myself am here in sydney now. we migrated just about 2 months after that teambuilding activity.

    anyway, welcome to sydney! you will love it here as we do. there is no place like home though. but we migrated exactly for the same reasons you have and so far, we have no regrets.

    whereabouts are you gonna be here in sydney? we are in glenmore park in penrith.

    good luck and God bless.

  17. malaya says:

    what do you mean by “noise” in a pic?how do you avoid/lessen/get rid of it?

  18. lance says:

    hi mr. paredes. i would like to thank you. you may not know what i’m thanking for but you really really help alot.

    (i’ll tell a short WHY)

    my mom had been suffering for more than a decade from her rheumatic heart disease. before she died last year, she requested and insisted to listen on her old cassette tapes of the APO. while listening to them, her hands lay-off the floor. she’s gone to God peacefully using your songs as bridge to heavens gate. and we are so glad she died peacefully, and fulfilled by hearing her favorite band until her last minutes.

    mabuhay po kayo.

  19. Jim says:

    balikbayan box–enjoy the book and thanks for your good wishes.


    anonymous–The Philippines is HOME, and it will always be for Filipinos kahit saan pa sila. I continue to rally, and believe that we will make it as a people. There are other development lines however that every person must complete in life. In my case, personal growth calls right now.
    Don’t lose hope. As Boboy says, how can you lose hope if it is your home you are talking about?

    hi del. I live quite near you. Email me your details at jimparedes@gmail.com. Let’s meet up when I get there and get settled.

    bilang_ako–‘Noise’ in a photo is evident when you use a high ISO and blow it up, lalo na kung night shot. The black is not totally black but has ‘noise’ or other colors that come out—whites, reds, etc, as little dots.

    lance– you message brought tears to my eyes. I will most certainly share this story with Danny and Boboy. Thank you for sharing this. If somehow, any piece of music we’ve done has brought a sense of happiness, peace to a person, then all was worth it and merely confirms that being who-we-are is puposeful in itself. It is part of God’s big plan for us to all touch each other in a special way.


  20. Anonymous says:

    Jim, pare napadaan ako sa blog mo — nasa Canada pala kayo? Any plans to visit Vancouver? I’m in Vancouver right now helping look after my mom. Will be here until Sunday Feb 19. Tawag kayo if you’re in town this week.

  21. Mon says:

    Jim, pare napadaan ako sa blog mo — nasa Canada pala kayo? Any plans to visit Vancouver? I’m in Vancouver right now helping look after my mom. She’s doing much better thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers. Will be here until Sunday Feb 19. Tawag kayo if you’re in town this week.
    I’ll email you our contact numbers here just in case.
    Best regards to you, Buboy, Danny and Butch.

  22. eman says:

    hi mr paredes
    i think most people are quite fortunate than i am…yet they dont realize it. i grew up having to deal with a life whereas my parents are always absent… and i really wish i could spend weekends with them….
    god bless

  23. Mandingo says:

    Hello Jim

    Welcome to Sydney. All the best to you and your family in your new life. It may be diificult at the start but I’m sure you guys are gonna do well.

    Also, thanks for the song “Nakapagtataka”, a classic Pinoy song if ever there was one.

    Hope we bump into each other one of these days.

  24. AAA says:


    Since you’re into blogging–check
    out this link:


    You might learn something from it.

  25. Beng Cruz says:

    Thanks Jim for the brief but wonderful conversation at Barrio Fiesta. My mom was asking if Hugo Paredes is your dad. Yes, we are also from Bangued, Abra (Colet/Valera clan). We also have Paredes relatives. I’ll tell my sister Liz about the awesome concert that she really missed…..a lot. Hope to get a copy of the show from Pepito. Regards to Kuya Danny. Ang galing galing pa rin ng APO. BTW, it’s not that difficult to shovel the snow. Calgary is only 45 minutes away from the very beautiful snow-capped Rockies. Hope you can bring Lydia and the kids to Calgary. As a convent bred Bridgetine, I will always include Lydia and your family in my prayers. Who knows, baka magkamag-anak nga tayo. God bless, Beng-Calgary, AB

  26. Beng Cruz says:

    Thanks Jim for the wonderful performance and concert here in Calgary. Thanks also for the brief conversation at Barrio Fiesta. Give my regards to Danny and I will tell my sister Liz about the awesome concert that she really missed. My mom was asking if Hugo Paredes is your dad. Somehow, there is a relationship daw…Paredes and Valera/Colet clan.
    I love your blog, very inspiring. Regards to Lydia (don’t know if she remembers me though). As a former convent-bred Bridgetine, I will pray for Lydia and of course, your family. BTW, it’s not that hard to shovel the snow even if you’re on your 50’s. Calgary is very beautiful and is only 45 minutes away from the snow-capped Rockies during winter. I’m sure your kids will also enjoy skiing/camping here. Hope to see the APO again. Talk to you soon and God bless, Beng Cruz – Calgary, AB (St. Bridget Class ’77)

  27. Beng Cruz says:

    oops sorry for the twin comments. guess i have to sleep now. umaga na dito sa calgary.

  28. BW says:

    Jim, you might be interested to know that Jan 2006 was the warmest Jan in the last 100 years in the Greater Toronto Area. The general notion that winters in all parts Canada are harsh is not really true. Our cars in Ontario don’t have block heaters and that speaks mighty high of the kind of winter we have! There are parts of the U.S. that have worse winters than Ontario.

    Talking about migrating to another country, I believe the key is focusing on the new task at hand and not having to think of what if… back home. It is nice to have RP as the back-up plan but it is distracting when you live your life with two homes in mind. I have seen people give up and can’t seem to get started because they keep comparing things between home and the new place. In fact, it may work even better if one assumes there’s nothing to go back to. This will make better prepared to win that battle for survival.

    For those who are blessed with a career like yours, it is probably better to divide your time – 6 mos in RP and 6 mos in Aus. My 2 cents

  29. Jim says:

    eman– you are not alone. Apparently, a lot of people are faced with the same situation for various reasone.

    mandingo– thanks for the welcome. Yes, ‘nakapagtataka’ is one song I am proud of. I love it too. Yes, bump into you soon.

    aaa–salamat. Very informative. My plan actually.

    beng cruz–will tell Lydia about your prayers, and thanks. If you are from Abra, then we are relatives. My brother who is knowledgeable about all things Paredes says that the valera/colet clan are relatives. He stays with the when he is in Bangued.

    I drove through the Rockies sometime in the 80s. Breathtakingly beautiful.

    bw–Totally agree with you. One must have a dedication to the vision and not use any options to return lightly. In fact, as you advice, one must perish the thought of returning for the meantime so one can be present in the new environment and make do with it without the distraction of comparing wht one left behind.

    Thanks a lot.


  30. tontopagihapon says:

    Hi Jim, welcome to Australia! I’m sure other Pinoys down unda will be thrilled to hear the news…Kaya lang sa Sydney ka pala, e sa Melbourne kami. I was able to watch your concert here in 2003 (I’m an APO fanatic). Kung maalala mo yung limousine ride around Melbourne, kasama ako nu’n (the guy with the pesky video camera). Well good luck to you. I’m sure everything will work out well for you and your family in Australia

  31. Beng Cruz says:

    ako ulit jim, from calgary alberta canada to australia. you know, it means so much to us to hear from you. sometimes i wonder how you really find time to reply back to your taga-hanga. enjoy ako reading your blog. in fact, one of them really hit me hard esp when you mentioned something about taking care of our folks. my father-in-law passed away feb. 20 and we spent family day at home with at least 23 other couples from Couples for Christ (CFC). it was an overwhelming support from this Christian community where we belong. they came to our house with food, prayers and songs. y hubby had to go back home to attend the funeral. so sad, eh. it was too late for him to see his dad alive or kahit na to take care of him sana while my father-in-law was in the ICU. anyway, malapit lang ang calgary. ang ganda ng snow ngayon dito. i’m not just talking about white Christmas but also…..white easter. take care and regards to lydia. God bless.

  32. may says:

    Hi Jim! Biskwit na MMM masarap,MMM malinamnam, Ummm, magaan sa bulsa. Both you and Eric were talking about moving to OZ back in 2000 when we were doing the Bluskies Jingle. We even spoke before i migrated to NZ. It’s a shame i missed watching your concert in Auckland back in 2003?

    Ive been away for almost 5 years now but guess what? i still visit Manila every year even for a week. No place like home. Wala ritong Jollibee and Purefoods hotdog. Most of all, walang BLUSKIES CRACKERS.

    I am in Sydney for almost two years now. As you live here, you cant help but feel proud to be a great Pinoy export. I just know that you will continue to evolve and succeed.

    Welcome to Sydney Jim!!!!

    All the best

  33. Jim says:

    tontopagihapon–ha ha. I remembedr you, That was fun!.

    beng cruz–Yes, it’s good to have friends support you in your time of need. We leave ihn a few days and I look forward to new friends along the way.

    May– WOW! Yes, I remember those talks. What’s you address. Please write it to me sa APO website. Send me a note through there and it will reach me. http//apohikingsociety.org.

  34. may says:

    Hi Jim! Glad you still remember the Bluskies episode. Did you get the chance to talk to Eric? Last i heard he joined Unilab. We are also moving to our new place in Liberty Grove hopefully, either before or after Easter. I’ll post the address in Apo website. Hope we can catch up sometime.

    Well, have fun on the big move. You are not bringing those massive timber furnitures, are you?

    Am sure your family will settle in perfectly well in Sydney. Bawal ang ma homesick!

    All the best to you and family.Have a safe flight. Take care.




    Where in Sydney are you staying? Do you have other family here? If there is anything we can do to assist, i say, anytime.

    Kelan pala kayo mag concert sa Sydney? The entire Pinoy mafia at work am sure wont miss it.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Well done!
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