The very next day after APO’s last show which was for a Unilab event at the Shangrila Hotel, I left for Australia. I arrived Sunday and immediately did some housework. I pretty much cleaned the house and hung around with Mio, my son. It was a good day even if I was so sleep deprived. the truth was, I was quite anxious to come back to Sydney. For one, Lydia, Ala and Erica with Ananda are all in Manila. That means that I would be going back to a very quiet house and I will have to cook every meal I will consume and do all the housework, not to mention contending with the loneliness. Also, I was again getting quite attached and comfortable with my life Manila and was worried that I may feel alienated when I come back here.

To my surprise, I settled in quite well almost immediately. I entered our Glenwood house and it was ‘home’. It was cozy and warm since it had been ‘territorialized’ by people in my family, and it felt like it. It felt like I belonged here. I also quickly noticed how quiet life in OZ is compared to the hustle, bustle and bedlam that is Manila. There is no escape from noise and stimulation there while it is serene and relaxed in this part of the world. I just have to deal with the cold. It was freezing last night and I did not get the great sleep I was looking forward to.

Today, I actually did quite a lot around the house cleaning, doing laundry and working in the kitchen which I never imagined I could do. After calling some friends and asking rocket science questions like, how to thaw frozen meats (yes, that’s how ignorant I am of any practical culinary knowledge), I cooked some hot dogs, and a hearty omelet of mushroom and cheese for breakfast. For lunch, I made some rice and longanisa. For dinner, I made baked chicken, a first for me, and to my great amazement, it WAS delicious!! Ha ha. Can’t believe it!

I just finished having a snack of meat pies prepared by my son Mio. It’s good to have time with him and just talk and bond. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since he’s been living alone for a week now here in wintry Sydney. I was so pleased to hear how he managed to live alone and how he even liked it. He clearly enjoys his life here and is not thinking of coming home except to visit. So happy that he is happy!

Yesterday, I bought the Nintendo Wii game console and it’s a lot of fun. We’ve been playing the Wii sports games since yesterday and it is a blast. During my tour in the US a month ago, none of us among the APO and entourage could find one since it is so popular. Glad I got one here.

By tomorrow, I resume my job as guitar and voice teacher. Many of my former students have signed up and I am excited to see where they are now. I find teaching people music and making them love it great work which I do with passion.

My life here is quite the opposite of what I have been doing the past few months which was concerts, traveling, workshops, and one that is constantly surrounded ny people. It is 9:30 in the evening and Sydney is so quiet and calm. No dogs, no tricyle, and I don’t hear people talking while walking the streets. No one is out there!!

My TV is off. My ipod is playing quiet music at a volume so low compared to how I need to play it in Manila. This is all nice and good. My soul needs this downtime.

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By the way, I am looking for models to photograph in Sydney while I am here. I am looking for interesting and/or pretty faces. If you are interested, email me a pic at

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Lastly, I have a few copies of my fourth book As Is Where Is which I brought with me to Aus for anyone interested in purchasing it. The book is only available via internet, but I have some right here. If you want to buy one, it is 20AUD. Email me at the above address and we can arrange to meet up or I can mail it at cost.

6 thoughts on “downtime”

  1. Jim,
    Ever since I’ve been living alone,
    there’s only one dish that keeps
    me alive–Adobo. It’s chicken, vinegar, toyo, garlic, pepper corn, and bay leaves. Place them all in a pot and cook for about 45 minutes. You may add a little pork if you want, and voila–you have food for the whole week. 🙂

  2. I am exactly the same with adobo. My wide criticizes me for it but I trell her that I am happy to be a low maintenance guy when it comes to food.

  3. Welcome back to Sydney Jim!
    Boys in OZ, girls in Manila.
    Natawa ako sa posts mo lalo na iyong Chinese translation, you made my day!

    Well, it’s about time I get my 1st copy of As Is Where Is.

    Qualified ba ako to be one of your granny models? Suhulan kita ng copy ng “Meditations from Conversations with God” kung wala ka pa at saka ng homemade pandesal…joke only, wooot !wooot!


  4. Hi Jim, do you still have a copy of your book? I live at Kellyville Ridge near Stanhope Shopping Centre.


  5. Had a chance to visit Autralia for the first time last month. You bet its sooooooooo quiet and laid back. I stayed with an old schoolmate who had been bugging me to visit her for decades. I was quite surprised that malls close so early at 5pm and I hardly see people on the streets even during the day – yes I am talking about the center of sydney not any suburb – well compared to manila that is :)))

    Loved the nature though but it was quite a totally different lifestyle for me who is used to the fast pace of living 🙂

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