Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Love Letter to Patrick

Dear Pat,

It's lunchtime and I can't seem to eat anything, considering I'm already hungry and I only ate for breakfast a tiny slice of leftover calzone from last night. I tried watching Heroes episode 7 to help ease my mind (weird, noh?), but I couldn't even follow the very basic storyline. I've been staring at the same TRIEFs page (don't even ask me what that means...argh!) in Excel but I can't seem to move past line I guess that's a goner.

So, here. I decided to write you a "love letter". You know how we'd laugh about that? YOU'd laugh about how I love writing letters that can't seem to end--with my 2-, 3-pager printouts? Haha...Lagot ka...this is going to be one of those letters you dreaded.

Pat, my long had it been since we first met? 2001, right? I was a few weeks from leaving Manila to fly to Marianas and never come back again, leaving everything behind. For some trick of fate, our paths crossed and we've never been the same again. Two matapobre, mataray, siraulo, clubber, gastador, social-butterfly (...o climber? hahaha), bigo sa pag-ibig, jetsetter, sawa-na-sa-'Merika, balahura, sarcastic, techy souls finding each other in this otherwise--as you'd pompously call it--poor, third-world, commoner country. You have unknowingly stolen a huge chunk of my heart, attention and regard...and summarily claimed the title "Best Friend for Life"...way before the term BFF was ever uttered in South Park.

I remember all those phone cards I've heedlessly used up just to call you from the US to either make chismis, ask for advice (which was mostly the reason for my calls), whine (second most important reason for my calls!), share a funny/boring/exciting/sad moment at the exact time it was happening or just happened. If I could've just made rebates out of those calls, I know I would've mad a fortune! ;-) You were the only one who cold talk sense into my utterly stubborn, overly-sensitive, hinde-na-nagtanda self. The well-known statement "hinde pa ipinapanganak ang makakapagtaray kay Ben"

almost always gets disputed when you're the one in question already. Only you can get through to the same way that you've claimed that I'm the only one who could also talk that much sense into your--and I'm just repeating my just-used adjectives--utterly stubborn, overly-sensitive, hinde-na-nagtanda self. After all, you and me are kindred souls...two identical peas in one cramped, campy pod.

Remember that day I got "deported" from the US? Any other Pinoy would've gone ballistic or hysterical...but not me. Soonest I touched down the airport in Manila, I gave you a call to tell you that I was on my way to your condo to drop my luggage--because I had to come home from the US on an "emergency"--and for you to get ready because we were going clubbing right away?! That was crazy. And I remembered having missed you so much--our kalandian with our conquests, our hysterical laughter, our endless banters. I also always remember how I'd always crash at your place and sleep on the folding bed, because we found it so repulsive to wake up on the same bed with our skin touching or inadvertently cuddling up as if we were boyfriends sleeping with each other? That last time that it happened, we screamed so loud and pushed each other so hard we both fell on our asses on the hardwood floor? That was one good chortle I got there, and we learned our lessons well: never sleep on the same bed, lest wake up with sore asses (HAHAHAHAHA...this private joke always get me).

Remember how you'd always have little thingamajigs and knicknacks for me whenever you go on a trip? The Castro Street baller ID, the Human Rights messenger bag that Julius has always begged of you to give to him, the surprise Banana Rep office shirt inside the Jack Spade bag for my birthday, the big bottle of ID4 (hehehehe), and a whole lot of other things? And how I couldn't seem to find the perfect gift for you because you have everything?? I was so grateful when Koko--your simpangit-ng-paniki-but-supahdoopah-adorable Chihuahua--came into your life; at least I could shower him with loads of gifts and not even bother racking my brains for any gifts for which you'd dramatically say, "Hinde mo na ako mahal, mas love mo na si Koko"...and to which I'd say, "Oo naman noh!" Ah, Patrick Manuel...Maarte ka.

Pat...why did you have to leave? You are my rock. Paano na ako ngayon that I'm weak because you left without saying goodbye? Who will be my rock now? Who's going to tell me that I'm just being praning and that everything will be ok...that "celebrities" like us need to go through these bumps in the road, but will see the light of day in no time?

Pat, I'm so sorry. You have no idea how guilt-stricken I am right now. Words cannot even begin to describe how regretful I am. I should have been there for you. I should have been by your side when you were in pain, when you were having a hard time breathing, when you couldn't eat, when you just needed someone beside you. I shouldn't have been too preoccupied with my life--my own avalanche of problems were nothing compared to what you went through. I am so, so sorry, my Patrick. If there's anything I could say or do or unsay or undo just so you could forgive me, I would take that moment or instance any second.

I should have come earlier. Not just last night. Not when the hospital priest was administering final rites to you. Not when you were only breathing because of the respirator. Not when the tubes and wires and cables were all over your body. Not when you were already pale and grey and lifeless. Not when you were already gone.

Patrick...I can't seem to get that picture of you in anguish and pain out of my mind. I didn't want that picture to be the last image of you in my head. I've always known you as the exact clone of me--maingay, effervescent, boisterous, and colorful.

The hourlong time I spent holding your slowly getting cold and stiff hand in your room will never be enough time for me to tell you all of the things that I wanted to tell you. Last night, all I could say was I'm sorry, and that I hope you could forgive me for not being a good friend, and not being there to see you through like you've always had for me. I wanted to tell you how much you mean to me, how much you're loved, how I would give a limb or a heartbeat just to save your life. I wanted to tell you that you just couldn't die on me and everyone else who loves you. I wanted to tell you that the world--my world, and everyone else's--will never be the same without you in it. I wanted to tell you that if I could just go back in time and tell you all of these things, and hell, even forewarn you of what's about to happen, I would do that in a heartbeat.

I wanted to tell you that you will always be in my heart, in my prayers, and in my every single thought. And our little secret, which I whispered to you as I kissed your face for the last time last night before they covered you with that cold, white sheet, will stay with me.

I love you, Pat. My best friend. My brother. My partner in crime. Be good where you are. And no. I am NOT saying goodbye...we don't do that kind of thing. I will see you again, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disconnected and Overwhelmed


The last couple of days (hell, weeks) had been overwhelming for me--what with the (training) budget preparation in full swing, my move from my old condo to the new apartment, the left-and-right shoots/hosting/other rakets, that health-related issue, the sleepless nights, the choir rehearsals, and the constant problem/issue management. In writing that statement, I had to type, edit, type over, and think twice, thrice, and more, whether to use the word "had" or "have"...considering I don't think I'm quite done yet. So...hohum. Yada-yada-yada.

Upon moving to the new apartment, I had my SmartBro broadband connection disconnected and concurrently applied for a new landline-with-broadband Globe connection. I won't even go over my ordeal with Globelines tech support and customer service--well, at least not in THIS blog...I will on a different, more relaxed time schedule--but needless to say, it was hellish for me. Dig this: seven days of no internet connection and constant headaches about it with the phone support team. (You just wait for the gory details on a different blog!) Couldn't open my inbox even at work because I was tremendously busy with all the meetings (one after the other) and that left me with hardly any time to even browse. I could only glance at my inbox using my GPRS phone, and as such, I couldn't stay connected long. Well, that was, of course, primarily attributed also to the fact that my new apartment still looks like a hurricane site with all the boxes and tools and knick-knacks lying all over the place. (Don't worry, soonest the house is finished, I'll post pics!)

Finally, this morning, my internet connection went from dead to resurrected. With hope, when I get home this evening (assuming I'm not yet exhausted from this whole day Problem Solving and Decision-Making seminar [which is where I'm getting to post this blog--haha], two more client meetings in the evening, and still more fixing and tidying up of the apartmen), I could at least queue up my downloads--HEROES episode 7!!!!!!--and check my gazillion emails.

It's been a REALLY rough few weeks. I wish I could just blink my eyes and make all the stress go away. I SO totally need to rest.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Trepidation

Have you ever been so scared in your life, you can't even think? keep thinking about it, can't seem to stop, and it bothered the hell out of you? 

Have you ever been scared shitless, you had to work yourself to exhaustion just so you'd have no more energy left when night falls, so you can just drift off to sleep and evade one more night of unending worry? 

When was the last time fear took over your entire existence that it paralyzed you, and had precluded your every opportunity of having peace of mind, and even the simple act of being happy?

Right now, I am very very terrified. God help me as I face this fear.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I See Trees of Green...Red Roses, Too!

What a Wonderful World album art

This is my surprise for someone (actually, it ain't much of a surprise anymore because na-text/email ko na sya about it e...hehehehe, talk about low EQ!). This is B's ultimate super duper over mega blockbuster to the maximum and still going peborit song of all time daw--What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. So........tada!

And since I'm already--er, STILL--up (time check: 4:15freakingAM argh), might as well do another cover art for the compilation album...and hopefully fall asleep due to strained eyes! 

Just like my earlier posting, I was surprised to come across A LOT of versions of this classic. So, I chose those ones I like, mostly the easy listening genre, and compiled it into one collection.

Here's the listing of this one:
  1. Celine Dion, What a Wonderful World
  2. David Foster & Renee Olstead, What a Wonderful World
  3. Dianne Elise, What a Wonderful World
  4. Emi Fujita, What a Wonderful World
  5. Englebert Humperdinck, What a Wonderful World
  6. Eva Cassidy & Katie Melua, What a Wonderful World
  7. Guy Sebastian, What a Wonderful World
  8. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Somewhere Over The Rainbow...What a Wonderful World
  9. John Legend, What a Wonderful World
  10. Keane, What a Wonderful World
  11. Keiko Lee, What a Wonderful World
  12. Kimber Manning, What a Wonderful World
  13. Leann Rimes, What a Wonderful World
  14. Louis Armstrong, What a Wonderful World
  15. Martin Nievera, What a Wonderful World
  16. Michael Bublé, What a Wonderful World
  17. Mimi Lo, What a Wonderful World
  18. Misty Blue, What a Wonderful World
  19. Philippine Madrigal Singers, What a Wonderful World
  20. Richard Clayderman, What a Wonderful World
  21. Robert Thiele, What a Wonderful World
  22. Rod Stewart, What a Wonderful World
  23. Shane McGowan, What a Wonderful World
  24. Sofia, What a Wonderful World
  25. Stephen Bishop, What a Wonderful World
  26. Thomas Newman, What a Wonderful World
  27. Tony Bennett & k.d. Lang, What a Wonderful World
  28. Tony Evans and His Orchestra, What a Wonderful World

Here are the links for download:

[Oops...I'm still uploading them. Should be done by tomorrow morning! Keep checking back for updates]


Over the Rainbow album cover

Who knew there were over fifty versions of that Judy Garland song from The Wizard of Oz, "(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow"?

And who knew I was going to wake up yet again at 230am after falling asleep at 10ish last night...and would have a bitch of a hard time to fall back into dreamland (er...nightmareland was more like it kanina. Argh), I decided to just do an artwork cover for this collection I've made of THIRTY versions/interpretations of the classic song.

Here's the listing of what's in the collection...
  1. Over The Rainbow - Angela Zhang
  2. Over The Rainbow - Angelis
  3. Over The Rainbow - Attila Fias
  4. Over The Rainbow - Celtic Violin
  5. Over The Rainbow - Cliff Richard
  6. Over The Rainbow - Connie Francis
  7. Over The Rainbow - Dave Koz
  8. Over The Rainbow - Drews Lullabies
  9. Over The Rainbow - Emi Fujita
  10. Over The Rainbow - Harold Arlen
  11. Over The Rainbow - Hayley Westenra
  12. Over The Rainbow - Jane Monheit
  13. Over The Rainbow - Jason Castro
  14. Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland
  15. Over The Rainbow - Justin Cady
  16. Over The Rainbow - Katharine Mcphee
  17. Over The Rainbow - Kelsey Stone
  18. Over The Rainbow - Kimberly Locke
  19. Over The Rainbow - Kyla
  20. Over The Rainbow - LaVance
  21. Over The Rainbow - Luiza Possi
  22. Over The Rainbow - Misty Blue
  23. Over The Rainbow - Nicole Henry
  24. Over The Rainbow - Richard Clayderman
  25. Over The Rainbow - Richard Poon
  26. Over The Rainbow - Russell London
  27. Over The Rainbow - Susan Wong
  28. Over The Rainbow (MTV Unplugged) - Tori Amos
  29. Over The Rainbow, If I Only Had A Brain - Tuck & Patti
  30. Over The Rainbow, What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

And here are the links for download...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Metropop Overload

Metropop Music Festival

Metropop rocks...or at least it used to. Back in the 70s (HOY, I wasn't coherent or aware then of these song festivals/competitions, but I do remember having listened to cassette tapesof such), the quality and content of the songs were much, much better. When it stopped in 1985 and then got resumed in 1996, the flava came back. The 1996 Metropop was, by far, the best "comeback" of all Metropop comebacks. The rest were just, uhm, blech.   

I've compiled a couple of finalists and winning entries from majority of the "seasons". I removed some icky tracks and included some so-so as well. My all-time favorites would beRico J. Puno's All I Ever Want (though his articulation totally sucks), Angelika and Zebedee's Out In The Open (I really thought this should have won instead of Jaya's), Martin Nievera's Pag-uwi, Bong Gabriel's Ang Aking Awitin and of course, Tillie Moreno and Ray Ann Fuentes' Umagang Kayganda.

Here's the list of all FIFTY SEVEN tracks in the compilation: 

1.                                  Al Santos, Let Us Stay The Way We Used To Be

2.                                  Anthony Castelo, Hahanapin Ko

3.                                  Anthony Castelo, Ibig Kong Ibigin Ka

4.                                  Apo Hiking Society, Ewan

5.                                  Bong Gabriel, Ang Aking Awitin

6.                                  Brix Ferrari, May Pag-Ibig Pa Kaya

7.                                  Celeste Legaspi, Pagdating Mo

8.                                  Cynthia Garcia With The Kabataan, Ngumiti Tumawa Magsaya

9.                                  Cynthia Patag, Laruan

10.                             Dulce, Ako Ang Nasawi Ako Ang Nagwagi

11.                             Eileen Espina, Memories

12.                             Ernie Tagle, Gusto Kong Umawit

13.                             Eugene Villaluz & Louie Reyes, Falling In Love Again

14.                             Florante, Kahit Konti

15.                             Freddie Aguilar, Anak

16.                             Freddie Aguilar, Bulag Pipi At Bingi

17.                             Hajji Alejandro, Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika

18.                             Iwi Laurel, Come Be Part Of My Song

19.                             Jacqui Magno, Laging Buhay Ang Buhay

20.                             Jam Morales, A Smile In Your Heart

21.                             Janet Basco, Minsan Pa

22.                             Janet Basco, You Made Me Live Again

23.                             Jaya Ramsey, Sometimes You Just Know

24.                             Jennifer Ramos, Away From You

25.                             Joel Navarro, Swerte-Swerte Lang

26.                             Kuh Ledesma, Till I Met You

27.                             Lani Misalucha, Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw

28.                             Lea & Gerard Salonga, Musika, Lata, Sipol At Lalala

29.                             Leah Navarro, Isang Mundo, Isang Awit

30.                             Leo Valdez, Magsimula Ka

31.                             Lerma De La Cruz, Ako'y Ako

32.                             Louie Reyes & Eugene Villaluz, Nothing I Want More

33.                             Maricris Bermont, Narito Ako Umiibig

34.                             Martin Nievera, Pag-Uwi

35.                             Martin Nievera, Pain

36.                             Mon Del Rosario, Sino Ang Baliw

37.                             Nanette Inventor, Salamat Salamat Musika

38.                             New Minstrels, Ikaw Ako Tayo Magkakapatid

39.                             Odette Quesada, You're My Home

40.                             Passionata, Sa Duyan Nang Pag Ibig

41.                             Pat Castillo, Laging Mayroong Bukas

42.                             Pedritto Montaire, Be My Lady

43.                             Ray Ann Fuentes, Nandoon Na Nawala Pa

44.                             Ric Segreto, Give Me A Chance

45.                             Richard Tan & Bambi Bonus, Kailangan Ko Kailangan Mo

46.                             Richard Tan & Maraya, Think It Over

47.                             Rico J. Puno, All I Ever Want

48.                             Rico J. Puno, Lupa

49.                             Rico Puno & Ivy Violan, What Are You Doing On A Rainy Sunday Morning?

50.                             Session Road, Gravity

51.                             Sonia Singson, Isang Dakot

52.                             Subas Herrero & Noel Trinidad, Kahit La La La Puwede Na

53.                             Susana Pichay, Dont Deceive Yourself

54.                             Tillie Moreno & Ray Ann Fuentes, Umagang Kay Ganda

55.                             Verni Varga, My Love My Soul My Everything

56.                             Zander Khan & Miriam Pantig, Pag Ibig Mo, Pag Ibig Ko

57.                             Zebedee And Angelica, Out In The Open


And here are the download links: