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.
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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
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?
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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!
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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:
2. Apo Jim
Three screen names you have had:
2. Apo Gold
3. Mr. Walls
Three physical things you like about yourself:
Three physical things you don’t like about yourself:
2. lack of thicker facial hair
3. can’t think of anything else
Three parts of your heritage:
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:
Three of your favorite musical artists:
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
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:
2. femininity and flirtiness
3. expressive eyes
Three of your favorite hobbies:
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:
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:
Three kid’s names you like:
Three things you want to do before you die:
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.