Wednesday, December 20, 2006

sleepless in Manila

It's a few days before Christmas, and I am totally sleepless this morning. I tried to sleep at about midnight, then it was already 230am, and now I have to prepare to go to the Misa de Gallo at Project 8 at 4am, where my parish choir is singing. As usual, I will be totally knocked out once I come back home at around 7am, except that this time AILM is having its christmas party at 10am. Let's see what will happen, coz I usually sleep after misa de gallo all the way till 12nn.

Because of these irregular hours, I haven't done any Christmas shopping at all. And Christmas is just six days away! I'm deathly afraid of not being able to buy anything for the pamangkins... I must go out one of these days.

Problem is, we still have a concert on the 23rd... I'm beginning to hate these Christmas concerts. It's the same repertoire year after year. haaaaayyy...

This is probably the first time I'm not feeling Christmas-y at all. Quite depressing actually. I don't know what to do, and I don't have the energy to do anything at all. I'm very lethargic at the moment, preferring to stay at home and make butingting, while the season passes me by. Usually, I'm always excited in trying to buy gifts , putting up the tree, and playing Christmas carols. Not this year. And the problem is, I don't know why.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I've just received the most depressing news that one of the Philippine Madrigal Singers alumni, Jenny Ileto-Severino, is battling cancer with chemotherapy. I really hope she gets well.

It seems to me that there are less and less people dying of natural causes, and more people dying of cancer. Sometimes even if you are a very healthy person, you will be stricken with one type of cancer or another. I often wonder: isinumpa na ba tayo ng Diyos? Because of our profligate ways? Sigh... we can only hope for the best, and pray like we've never prayed before.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

High Blood Pressure

150/100. That's my "normal" blood pressure nowadays. I'm overweight. I think I have to discipline myself into eating less meat and more veggies, or less carbs and more everything else. And start some aerobic exercise. *sigh*

Bought a blood pressure monitor to hourly monitor my blood pressure. The price is enough to elevate it to new highs! Joke. Actually quite reasonable. Around 3,450 pesos, by Omron. Automatic inflation. Ok lang.

And bought a new toy! hehehe... will see first what I can do with it, then I'll tell you all about it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Vigil

This is the third year where I committed myself to sing and play (kulang na lang dance) for the Easter Vigil Mass in Project 8, where I grew up. We have a small church in a quasi-parish, called the Holy Family Church, in G.S.I.S. Village. For the past two years, I have undertaken to sing all the Responsorial Psalms (five of them, shortened version), and the Exultet, and play keyboard for all the other parts of the mass. It's really fantastic to experience a mass in which a lot of parts are being sung by the celebrant (not this year, si Father Rey walang tono, sabi niya, so he refuses to sing), choir, cantor and congregation. But it's soooo tiring after the whole thing is over! I swear, it's even more challenging than some concerts I have had with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra at the CCP! It's because of all those responsorial psalm chants, where you have to fit words into the chant melodic line, and you have to find out where those word accents are, and how it will all fall into place, where word accent and musical phrasing meet. A lot of people say that my musicality is intuitive, so it is very hard for me to express in writing here, what I actually mean, musically speaking. Pasensya na.

Tomorrow, it's back to work, and meetings, and rehearsals and all that. Vacation's over! What vacation? I really need to get away from it all one of these days. Sigh...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday 2006

Today is Good Friday. I sang the part of Jesus in the singing (chanting) of the St. John's Passion at the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. John (Episcopalian) along E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd., right inside the compound containing St. Luke's Hospital and Trinity College. Although the part is easy, it is still very baffling for me with regards interpretation. Should I sing it loud, or soft? Should I modulate my voice, to sound like a king, or a humble person? All these thoughts are going through my mind as I sing the part. Even while singing it, I feel so totally unworthy that I am actually singing HIS part. Parang feeling ko pari dapat ang kumanta (well, pari dapat ang kumanta, pero inassign na nila sa akin ang role na ito every year since the late 90's). May lumalapit naman sa akin afterwards, saying they were touched by my singing, and I don't even know how to react to that. A ewan. Let's see what will happen next year.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

O ye of little faith

The Swedish embassy gave my passport back to me, saying I could hold on to it for my travel to Japan on April 21-24, then give it back to them on the 25th. In the meantime, my papers for application for Schengen visa will still proceed. Hallelujah! Thank you Lord for all your help!

Conducted the music for the funeral of Jamby Madrigal's dad, Don Antonio Madrigal, this morning at the Sto. Domingo Church. Call was at 9am, in time for the 10am funeral. I arrived before 9, only to be told that there was a wedding taking place, and therefore we could not rehearse. At 10 o'clock, we learned that there was ANOTHER wedding going to take place, and so we waited for that to be finished too. The funeral mass started around 11:30am, at which point the only way we were tolerating the long wait was that our sense of humor was still intact. But some of the musicians and singers (Madrigal Singers sang) haven't eaten breakfast (and lunch of course), and so when the funeral mass ended at about 1240 noontime, in about 37 degree Celsius heat, we dissipated faster than you could say, "Ite missa est". The mass was about 75 percent Latin, and the music was heavenly, with parts of Mozart's Requiem, a lot of Gregorian chants, and Ave Maria Bach-Gounod and Panis Angelicus and the Russian Kontakion. Madz sang Angeli Dei, which rose to a hair raising crescendo just as the body was being led out. Perfect timing! In the end, it was probably all worth it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I just came back from the Japanese embassy to get my visa for my April 21-24 visit to Tokyo to conduct the performance of the Gaia Philharmonic Chorus. Next problem: Schengen. Actually not a problem of acquiring, more a problem of time. Schengen visas usually take all of 10-15 working days to process. And of course April 21 is just two weeks away! I have to have my passport back on April 20, or else...!!

Why, oh why do these things happen to me? As if the tension in my work is not enough! Oh well,... bahala na si Batman. Will exert every effort to convince various embassies to expedite my visa.