Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

teaching, music, media, etc.

Posted on June 26, 2005 by jimparedes

Once again, I find myself with a brief case every Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Communication Department with class list on hand and getting the young people in the com studio interested in the topics and themes I talk about between 12 to 1:30PM. It’s back to school for me as a teacher. My designation is ‘lecturer’ although many people think that whoever teaches in college is a professor. That’s many years and two degrees away. Just call me ‘sir’ or ‘Mr. Paredes’ in class.

I love teaching. Just as Heraclitus says about one never crossing the same river twice, I haven’t taught the same subject in quite the same way all these years. I think I pretty much learn something new each time and so pass on new insights or connect new dots everyday. And that is exciting. Every time a class ends, I almost cannot wait to have the next session. These days, we are discussing the history of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) from the 60s to the present. So much music to share. I wish this was a topic for one whole semester.

* * *

Last night, I finished a commissioned song for a big NGO group. It’s a song called “Beyond Giving’. The theme talks about not just giving charity to others but carrying the work to the end until goals are completed.

Going the distance
Going the mile
Going beyond giving
Going beyond the high
Leaving oneself
Becoming the other
Going beyond giving
Till all of us pull through

The Company sang it and I dare say they did a great job. And so did Ernie Baladjay, APO’s keyboardist and arranger who continues to surprise me with each project we do We finished it late last night in my studio and it will be launched on July 4..

I have a studio at the back of my home. Time was, I’d spend many hours there recording, or writing. I’ve done countless songs, jingles, and recorded albums there as so many other artists have since I made it a commercial studio. Once in a while, some projects can really be exciting. I regularly drop by and check on the progress of some people who record there—people like Mon David who recorded here months ago and who seems to be in a great creative streak for some years now. You will not find his albums in regular outlets or even hear them on radio the way, say, you would Kitchie Nadal’s. But Mon is an artist I truly admire. If you ever come across any of his work, you will be doing Filipino music a favor by patronizing projects that record companies won’t touch because they are not ‘commercial’. He writes and sings jazz, ballads, pop in 3 languages–English, Tagalog and Kapampangan! The more people walk the edge creatively, the more Filipino music consciousness is expanded, di ba?

* * *

In the same vein, I am proud of my artist-model-writer-host daughter Ala’ s new music show called Isla Music on ABC 5, Saturdays at 6PM. It’s not your regular ho-hum record company-dictated music show trying to be hip with an American accent. It is an engaging music show and they discuss not just the form but the substance of music, trends and the work and art of musicianship. It reminds me kinda of my old defunct show Tatak Pilipino which I loved to do even if it paid me peanuts. I wish every artist had the opportunity to do stuff like these and not just the usual inanity that TV offers them. Once in a while, we should all do stuff which feeds our souls.

What are the choices one has really with TV these days? There’s Chismis, where they invent stuff about people and the ‘news’ is how people they maligned deny the so-called news. There’s also musical variety where no one gets to sing any song completely by himself because he/she gets paired or grouped with people who often can manage to look good but can’t sing to save themselves. There’s the idiotic dramas which are so slowly paced you can go to Alabang at the start and back and not miss a thing. There are the reality shows which seem as real as cheap wigs, or comedies that are…well.. .I could go on and on. Maybe I shouldn’t be knocking them since I was complicit in some of those kinds of shows in the past. But then, maybe I should because what I write is true!

If there are crimes of plunder or crimes against the environment, shouldn’t there be such things as cultural crimes as well? Such crimes involve actions and policies which lead to the corruption, degradation, and the ‘bobofication’ of the Filipino mind. Round up the guilty (media owners, executives, directors, creators, artists, movie producers, writers, etc.. and oh, throw in the makers of shampoo commercials) and put them in a Guantanamo type of prison and give them the complete dose 24-7 of everything they have ever dished out the past years Or better yet, force their children to watch their work. Let’s see if they survive unscathed. Ha ha!

* * *
OK, I’ve been tagged (again)!

I know I’m too old for this but Ala tagged me. I guess the rule is I must answer these questions. That’s part of the rules of cyber citizenship.

Three names you go by:
1. Jim
2. Apo Jim
3. Jaime

Three screen names you have had:
1. Haringliwanag
2. Apo Gold
3. Mr. Walls

Three physical things you like about yourself:
1. face
2. height
3. color

Three physical things you don’t like about yourself:
1. hair
2. lack of thicker facial hair
3. can’t think of anything else

Three parts of your heritage:
(4 nalang)

1. Spanish
2. Chinese
3. Portugese
4. Ilocano

Three things that scare you:
1. losing things when I travel
2. not thnking things through
3. not having moments of quiet for extended periods

Three of your everyday essentials:
1. camera
2. meditaion
3. food

Three of your favorite musical artists:
1. Joyce
2. Simone
3. Caetano Veloso (all from Brazil)

Three of your favorite songs:
1. ‘Setembro” by Take Six, Quincy Jones Album
2. ‘Bohemian Raphsody’ by Queen
3. ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by the Beatles

Three things you want in a relationship:
1. comfort, calm and humor
2. acceptance
3. growth

Three lies and truths in no particular order:
1. I have never lied
2. God has a religion (this is a long discussion)
3. there’s a soulmate for everyone (the biggest illusion that has destroyed countless relationships).

1. Life has no intrinsic meaning. You give it your own meaning.
2. Everyday is a new day to start a new life.
3. No matter how many nights a moon may reflect on water, no trace can ever be detected when it’s over. This is how our mind should be.

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:
1. softness
2. femininity and flirtiness
3. expressive eyes

Three of your favorite hobbies:
1. Internet
2. Diving
3. travel

Three things you want to do really badly now:
(4 things nalang)
1. travel again
2. do an album
3. finish my 4th book
4. have a photo exhibit

Three careers you’re considering/you’ve considered:
(4 nalang)
1. Psychologist/counselor
2. CEO of a tech company
3. a holy man
4. translator (Japanese or Arabic to English)

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Brazil
2. Cuba
3. Romania

Three kid’s names you like:
1. Andres
2. Natasha
3. Ligaya

Three things you want to do before you die:
Four nalang!
1. Live abroad
2. Be a world teacher
3. Publish 20 books
4. Make music that will outlive me.

Three ways that you are stereotypically male:
1. I like women.
2. I like my room messy.
3. I like adventure.

Three people I admire:
1. Ken Wilber
2. Dalai Lama
3. Paul Macartney

Will spare my friends and so will not tag anyone.

0 to “teaching, music, media, etc.”

  1. Deepa says:

    haha! ang kulit sa ‘four nalang’ ha!

    what you wrote about the tv viewer’s options nowadays is funny and astute. i liked this entry.

    good luck with the sem ahead! i wish you smart, appreciative students who can teach you something in return for what you impart to them. 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    Deepa–ha ha! And I thought I was being too cynical. It turns out it’s just your cup of tea.
    Yes, I seem to be blest with smart, appreciative students this sem, as always. I told them that I expect them to make an impression on me so that I remember who they are when I am grading them, and already, marami na ang nagtataas ng kamay and commenting!
    Heh heh. I am learning already.

  3. BabyPink says:

    hay, sir jim… what you said about tv shows nowadys is so true. i haven’t watched tv for the longest time, but i don’t feel like i’m missing a lot. everytime i watch, i catch some reality show that make me want to hurl the remote at the tv!!! tsk, tsk, tsk…:)

    i personally think teaching is the best job ever! i love teachers who don’t only teach, but inspire as well.:)

  4. Jim says:

    HEY babypink– I’ve been trying to convince my wife to get rid of the TV in our room. Like you, I hardly watch now except for the news and some others. I don’t know 80% of the people who come out on TV anymore. And I don’t feel I’ve been deprived of anything. I may have even gained back a big dose of my sanity. heh heh!

  5. jassy says:

    hello po…I’m glad there is a show like islamusik…i watched it last saturday and it was about world music. I learned a lot. Galing ng ABC5 sa pag-iisip ng original at makabuluhang palabas.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Jenn S here, very interested in hearing some of Mon David’s work. Any idea where it’s accessible? The indi music scene could really use a wisened voice. Hearing that he’s Creating is very inspiring.

  7. Anonymous says:

    (comment on music part)

    one of the greatest apo songs made was american junk.

    i hate it when pinoys sing opm songs in a slang accent, kinukulot at inaartehan para maging kasingtunog ng mga kano. i hate it when singers adjust to the standards of what is uso in the states or what is being shown on MTV.

    i am 20+ years old, but id rather listen to classic basil valdez or rey valeras than to some commercially uso songs on the radio.


    i approached one singer from a famous pop group, and asked him if they could do versions of apo songs. classics like Panalangin, etc.

    he replied with his conyo accent, “eew. we don’t do that. we only do rnb..like usher’s”

    e gago pala sha. di nya alam ang roots niya. to think na ang career-path pa naman nila e nasa apo category- all male voice group.

    san na nga ba? san na nga ba’ng OPM ngayon?

  8. Jim says:

    Jenn S.–I will get you a copy and give it to you when I see you. Otherwise, I know they are available in SM in San Fernando Pampangga and a few others.

    –Anonymous– I am delighted to know that there are people your age who think like you. It pleases me too to know you like our music, heh heh. I tackle the very issues you mention in my classes. If you wish to sit in, you are welcome.


  9. Ayan says:

    Wow is this “THE MR. JIM PAREDES” ?

    I’ve always wondered what happened to you guys! Been watching APO since I was a kid. Good thing you have this blog…

    Hope you don’t mind if I add you to my links. 🙂

  10. Doranne says:

    Hi! Im curious about Mon david’s work! where can I get? 🙂

    May kwento pala ako… We had this whole “lecture series” in school in honor of cheif justice davide because he’s retiring.. so “everyone” was invited and the supremecourt staff actually have a choir and they sang “ewan” saying twas one of davide’s favorite songs 🙂

  11. Anonymous says:

    hi sir jim. i couldn’t agree more with what you said about television shows nowadays. but i think it also has something to do with filipinos’ tendency to be passive more often than not. we just try to accept whatever is given [or is it laziness to try to make a change and explore more], and treat them as absolute truths without questioning it at all. false consciousness is what we create. and sadly, filipino support [in terms of our real culture] is what we lack.

    your subject sounds really, really interesting. any plans of teaching in UP, too?:)


    PS: I saw a documentary about filipinos [way back in the 80’s] the other day and you were there. You said something about how we filipinos want instant results all the time. You were comparing the situation then [2 years after edsa 1] to those who quit smoking. it’s like they’re on their 3rd day, yet they act as if they stopped for years and no change has actually happened yet, which makes them frustrated. i just wanted to say that’s a very nice analogy. i know that was long ago but it can still be applied [everything in that docu, actually] up to now–the analysis, the opinions and the country’s situation.

    *sorry for the long comment 😀

  12. Anonymous says:

    as for your music, i just wanted to tell you i appreciate it a lot. some people my age (i’m 21) laugh at me for listening to the older generation like rey valera, basil, apo, the company, and other opm classics rather than the new ones but i honestly think older songs have more substantial meanings for one, and i do like the melodies better. 🙂

    on abc5: i love them for not succumbing to the dreadful “commercialized” world where almost everything is so pathetic. atleast they give chances to the more important shows [atleast the way i see it, they have more value].


  13. ang says:

    man. you preach well.

    i thought it was just me thinking that there is such horrible garbage that’s polluting the filipino media.

    i’m especially sick of the dramas. elements of the typical drama: long-lost daughter/son, clueless mother/father of long-lost child, who actually befriends their long-lost child w/out knowing it, and you can’t forget the villian, who is either a friend/relative of mother/father of long-lost child. and somewhere in-between are some sort of storybook romances that captivate those who are gullible enough to watch.

    i’m also sick of wowowee. i just don’t like the format of the show. though, i could give willie props on giving money to people who need it.

    ASAP, or what’s left of it, is just… wow. i’m speechless.

    that just turned into a rant. sorry. well, in summation, i agree with your thoughts on filipino television..

  14. BabyPink says:

    sir jim,
    pwede rin po ba akong mag-sit in? hehehe:)

    oh, and, i think i know that all-male voice group that the anonymous commentor was talking about. naku, ha! they (these fellas) don’t know songs that outlive their creators/singers from those that would just fade away faster than i can say r ‘n b! sai yang!

    sorry about the typo errors in my earlier comment. freakin’ keyboard is at it again! hehehe:)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I continue to enjoy reading your blog. It’s very refreshing to read your viewpoints on various subject matters that maybe misconstrued as being nihilistic, specifically on “walking the edge creatively”. But, you are true to your own truths; an artist’s creative realm that defines you.

    The gist of your blog entry on cultural crimes against humanity reminds me of MLK —

    “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

    “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King

    MLK’s statements are universally true despite these statements being made within the context of Vietnam war, racial segregation.

    Our reality is indeed defined by unabated cultural anomalies (‘ako muna’) but, compounded by our lack of respect for the Rule of Law. Wherefore, proliferations of what I call ‘bureaucraps’ hiding behind policies to protect/forward their vested interests at tax payer’s expense. Ultimately, these unresolved anomalies do thrive and transcend through many aspects of our lives like cancer. So, yes, I am for the creation of ‘Guantanamo prison’ to chuck all these kleptocrats, mediacraps, culture vultures in to have a dose of their own medicine. hah-ha!

    This calls for a benevolent dictator (ala Lee Kuan Yew) to save our country; after all democracy is not a panacea.

    Just my two cents worth.
    aka Gabriela

  16. mldf2004@yahoo.com says:

    hi sir jim.

    this is anonymous #1, the 20year old something who commented on the music issue.

    i am very much interested in sitting-in with your class. Below is my email, i would like to know the schedule of your sessions and other how to’s with regards to your class.

    salamat salamat, musika!

  17. slim whale says:

    the problem, really, is how to re-educate the viewing public on what is good television. sure there are people who are critical and mature enough to know that what these tv shows dish out is junk. but majority of the masses, sad to say, just lap these up and think it’s the height of quality entertainment.

    i believe a crusade to rid our tv of such inanities should start with sponosors who wield so much power they could bleed any show to death by just withdrawing support. i just don’t know how we could force these profit-hungry bastards to do it since they, themselves, would want to pander to their customers. it’s a cycle we should be bold enough to break.

    i, too, am a fan of APO’s. when will the APO stage a concert here in manila?

  18. jiLL says:

    Hi Jim,

    Was just wondering, when was the last time you went diving? Maybe you’d like to join our group some time.

    Goodluck with your new class. Tatah!

  19. jey says:

    you have always been a teacher who never fails to inject inspiration to his students.

    and i caught ala’s show in one of the rare times i opened the tube and yes, it’s better than most music show around. it has more substance. congratulations.

    God bless and keep on inspiring!:)

  20. Mec says:


    am sure your students feel privileged for having you as their mentor… in the same way that you feel honored to be in a position to touch their lives…


  21. amz says:

    hi sir jim! i chanced upon your blog while i was blog surfing and i’m glad that i did! i just wanted to say that i loved tatak pilipino. dapat ipalabas yan dito so kids who grew up in the states will learn about their roots…and not just the typical stereotypes of what being pinoy is.

    oh, and i’m 20-something too and i absolutely love your music. i grew up listening to it. one of my faves is awit ng barkada (i think that’s the title… hehehe…i apologize, it’s been a while since i heard it!). i also love your part in the biyahe tayo video. tinamaan talaga ako ng homesickness when i saw that!

    i hope you don’t mind if i link you up sa blog ko. i think people my age could learn a thing or two from your words of wisdom:)

  22. jed says:

    people my age(19) tend to ask me kung di ba daw ako nababaduyan sa mga kinakanta ko.(anna and nkapagtataka) porke’t di na uso yung kinakanta ko bat nila sinasabing baduy dba?… i know most of them roll their eyes when i pass-by humming strawberry fields or lucy in the sky… pero bahala na sila. kesa naman mag patronize tayo ng mga kano na di natin kilala at halos pare-pareho lang ang tunog dba?.. puro nonsense ang song. you cant croak bout love all you life dba?..

    “bobofication,” i love that word. i think i’ll use that word some more. hahaha…

  23. Teena says:

    it is funny. i work in ABS, yet like you, I’m clueless about the new shows and talents on TV. 🙂 i must confess, i realized just before ‘SLNPS folded that TV is such a wasteland. gone are my couch potato days. some months ago, sir dan mariano asked me to take celebrity news writing to a different level like what nestor torre does, but my heart is so not into writing about artistas. so now i write news stories, but the trapos and our kind of politics frustrate me. :<

  24. Anonymous says:

    a nice article Lydia wrote on her experience with cancer (w/ her picture)


  25. Mai says:

    oh, i loved Tatak Pilipino. i was still in grade school then when i used to watch that show every Saturday. 😀 dami kong natutunan from it. i wish there would be some show of that kind ulit ngayon… but then again, that one was irreplaceable.

  26. Jim says:

    ayan–yes, go ahead and linkme. No need to ask.

    Doranne–will ry and ask Monwere one can get his works. Alam ko sa San Fernando SM meron. Will ask kung may mas malapit.

    Paula–yes we are pasive.That’s why we can take trash and not complain. Someday, I would like to teach in UP. And I appreciate your liking our stuff. Salamat.

    Ang and anonymous–Don’t apologize for ranting. I very easily fall into that too when I discuss media. ha ha!

    slim whale–yes. Sponsors, I believe have taken some steps in that direction. We must encourage them to do more.

    Jill-Diving? Every chance I get. How do I get in touch with your group?

    Jey and mec-teaching is both a joy ad a priviledge. I love it.

    amz-glad you liked Tatak P. and the video. Those were fun projects.

    jed–the truth is, you are right about the old music having more musicality and substance. maybe ‘bobofication’ has taken its toll on your friends. ha ha.

    Teena–The abs-cbn experience was valuable to me because it exposed to me graphically the very thinking that pollutes the airlanes. I cannot forget top executives defending their programming because ‘bobo’ daw ang Pinoy and that’s what the pinoy wants. Someday, I wish to go back and try to change things if given the chance.

    anonymous–Yes, that was a nice speech by Lydia.Thanks for giving the URL.

    mai-TataK Pilipino was a brief shining moment in abs-cbn and Philippine television history. So much fun and great content.

  27. trisha says:

    hello its me again. 🙂
    i completely agree with what you said about the TV shows these days. i don’t have tfc, but when i’m over at my friends’ places who do have it, i can’t help but cringe and whinge about the quality of shows that are being shown. the only ones that i actually watch are the travelling shows and those from other provinces – eventhough I can’t understand the language because they’re not tagalog, i enjoy it coz i get to see the other places in the philippines.

    the unit you’re teaching sounds really interesting. i wish i would’ve been in your class!!! and oh yeah, i remember tatak pilipino… my dad and I used to watch it when i was a kid. some people would be surprised at the calibre of some of filipino music – they’re just top class!

  28. Ylno Seye says:

    the last time I visited your blog was after you held a seminar at Intel. What can I say? I enjoyed reading this post.

    I remember, I religiously watched Tatak Pilipino back then. I wish there will be more shows like these. less telenovelas…

    Congrats to Ala for IslaMuzik

  29. dancing in the rain says:

    Heya, Tito Jim!

    Marem Pavia here.

    Yes, I am STILL alive. And I now have a blogspot! My Tabulas(http;//tabulas.com/~ria_fs27) is still my main blog though. Hehe.

    I must say, I enjoyed this entry about TV nowadays. Tee-hee.

    Oooh. Good luck with the upcoming semester. I hope you learn as your students learn. =) I do some teaching as well–English classes. Napaka-sarap ng feeling ‘no? Hehe.

    Congrats to Ala on IslaMusik! =)

    Anonymous’ anecdote just made me smile in amusement. I myself have forever loved “Panalangin.” Have you heard the version of Nyoy Volante and the Mannos? I dare say they did the song justice, hehe. 🙂

    Take care always! God bless! 🙂

  30. girlie schramm says:

    “beyond giving” is a simple song w/c carries a heavy message, written from a modest man, who practices what he preaches. it is beautiful, jim!
    btw, will be in manila 0n the 22nd-24th july. what can i bring you & lydia from berlin? something not heavy to carry……..

  31. jiLL says:

    Hi Jim,

    Great! Email me at suplada@pldtdsl.net I’ll get in touch with you if we have another dive sched. 🙂

  32. teacher sol says:


    I am greatly honored by your visit. You are one of my role models because you’re making a great impact to our country with your songs (Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo is now in my heart after that dream) and your being a teacher is truly inspiring. I read here in your blog (entry on TEACHING, MUSIC, MEDIA, ETC..) how you love teaching. Just as Heraclitus says about one never crossing the same river twice, I haven’t taught the same subject in quite the same way all these years. I think I pretty much learn something new each time and so pass on new insights or connect new dots everyday. And that is exciting. Every time a class ends, I almost cannot wait to have the next session. That is very true to me too. By the way, can I sit in your class?

  33. teacher sol says:


    I am greatly honored by your visit. You are one of my role models because you’re making a great impact to our country with your songs (Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo is now in my heart after that dream) and your being a teacher is truly inspiring. I read here in your blog (entry on TEACHING, MUSIC, MEDIA, ETC..) how you love teaching. Just as Heraclitus says about one never crossing the same river twice, I haven’t taught the same subject in quite the same way all these years. I think I pretty much learn something new each time and so pass on new insights or connect new dots everyday. And that is exciting. Every time a class ends, I almost cannot wait to have the next session. That is very true to me too. By the way, can I sit in your class?

    My website linked here now…haha! sorry for messing with your comment box. -Teacher Sol-

  34. ~C4Chaos says:

    wow! i love lyrics. very very bodhisattva vow! 😉

  35. ~C4Chaos says:

    on the “…‘bobofication’ of the Filipino mind.”

    can’t agree with you more. if only our fellow Filipinos will become more aware that they do have a choice. but then again, choices are limited. and so goes the wheel of samsara.

    but the bigger responsibility is always in the hands of those who has the power and still chooses to use it for “bobofication.”

    love the list. it may have been for fun, but wisdom is showing through. you should do more of these 🙂

  36. Jim says:

    Girlie–you’re really super sweet. If it’s not a bother, I love dark chocolates but no mint please. Salamat!!

    Trisha–I hear a lot of Pinoys abroad complaining about TFC too. Pinoys in Europe have voiced out that they want a different programming.

    Teacher sol–feel free to sit in my class. Let me know when. I have exciting topics ahead.

    coolmel– Yes, to those much is given much is expected, di ba? Even media has a bhodisattva calling.

    Marem–Tel Nyoy I loved what he did with Panalangin and now Ana.

  37. Anonymous says:

    hey! just ran into your blog. I’m a student from DLSU and I just want to say that your post makes a lot of sense 🙂 I share the same sentiments deeply regarding the Filipino shows currently being shown on tv. Keep up the great blogging!

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