Friday, November 27, 2009

Reminiscing through music

I always remember my father playing songs from his younger days on our old stereo and later on component system. I grew up to the tune of Nat King Cole (whom he preferred over Sinatra), the Cascades and Ilonggo Folk Songs, thanks to a collection of vinyl records that I assume is stashed away somewhere after surviving the floods that brough havoc last September. I have come to appreciate that music - his music - as part of my upbringing, even as my tastes evolved to including classical, jazz, new wave, rock and pop from a wealth of talented musicians I was exposed to from the 70's to the present.

I must admit the guilty pleasure of listening to Bread and England Dan & John Ford Coley Songs. I sing along to Earth, Wind and Fire as well as to Air Supply and feel good when Barry Manilow plays on the radio. It's even more satisfying to hear tunes from high school times - Spandau Ballet, The Cure, The Smiths...and the list goes on and on. "Nakakabata nga talaga." It's the same statement I remember my father saying when he listens to his music. I guess by now I also have my music and am entitled to it if only because my taste is influenced by almost 4 decades of listening to various artists including one hit wonders (anyone for some Vitamin Z?).

I sit back and relax on Fridays and Saturdays. I'm content listening to Magic Madness or Slide on Fridays and Freestate Sound and another New Wave program on Saturdays. The music allows me to recharge and maybe, at least for those times I allow myself to indulge in it, turn back the clock to a time when there was less worries and less complications in life.

Two Months After and Looking Blankly as Christmas Approaches

It's 2 months since that fateful weekend of the deluge brought about by Ondoy. I'm still driving a car graciously provided by a friend (Thanks!!!) with my Crown still sitting and under repair at another friend's shop. The Mazda 3 languishes in Makati where God knows when essential parts would be arriving from Japan and God forbid that more damage is brought about by disrepair - the result of the casa's non-action. The costs of having 2 cars repaired have escalated. The damage is mainly due to the continuing deterioration of the newer car with the estimated costs now exceeding 200 thousand pesos for the Mazda alone. It's bad enough being hit by a flood (we survived after all) but it feels so much worse being f^%$&d by the casa.

I've said farewell to the idea of having a new notebook to replace my 3-year old Satellite. Farewell too to having our garage covered. Now, I'm eager to get my Professorial Chair money but only because we need it badly to pay for the Mazda. There are actually more important, more personal items already in the pipeline but were thanks to our finances in shambles after Ondoy. We're still luck, I continue to convince myself. So far, I've succeeded but I'm not as hopeful as what try to project. After all, I'm not the kind of person who will admit defeat though I accept it.

Th only bright spot now is the work being done at home. The contractor we hired is very good and has so far completed most of the repairs and renovations we had planned even before the inundation of late September. Is Christmas really just around the corner? I hope it isn't and I'm sure not looking forward to its material implications. 2010? Who knows what's lurking next year? I hope it doesn't beat 2009 in terms of the hurt and the sadness of losing what's left of childhood memories and the sense of security that comes from owning a home.


The recent events in Maguindanao clearly shows how backward people still are in an area where government and international agencies have poured so much resources to encourage economic activity and improve quality of life. Progress? I look at the videos of Maguindanao shown on TV and can't help but notice that the only modern infra they have are roads. And we know that building those roads probably amounted to a lot more than what it actually should cost.

In this day and age where information spreads fast and news about such crimes as the massacre could be broadcast to the entire world, one would think that being escorted by a journalists would at least be a deterrent to the grim ending experienced by the victims. Indeed, a lot has been written and said about the circumstances. Comments here and analysis there are a dime a dozen, and from where a lot of us stand they seem to be falling on deaf ears. Frankly, to me its similar to that saying about how hard it is to wake up someone who's pretending to sleep. In this case, the moves by the ones in power are token and just for show. Heads should roll (pun intended) in such situations where the gains of having a 7-time world boxing champion and a world recognized hero for the common man was all but snuffed out by the heinous act of a clan.

Perhaps, as pundits say, "nakulangan pa tayo sa world class." We also wanted to establish ourselves as tops in terms of being the most dangerous place for journalists. The news say that...we leapfrogged over the cream of the crop that is Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia...the list goes on. It's a veritable who's who in a chaotic world and it reflects sadly not on Maguindanao alone but the entire country. I see the defiant faces of those who are obviously guilty and I squirm in my seat knowing they will eventually get only a slap on the wrist (or maybe less!).

I was reminded that the term "kahayupan" probably does not apply here. Being a pet owner, my Lab is too kind and "malambing." It is an unfair term because what was accomplished (yes, I think the perpetrators would use this term and even take pride in it) was more than "kahayupan." So at the very least, many say perhaps they deserve a similar fate. Perhaps, for all to see, they should be made to suffer in a manner brought about by animals like spike their drink with rabies or rat piss...then we'll see what "kahayupan" is all about. That way, they can be made examples for those planning on similar acts.

In this day and age, there is no place for people who think they can do whatever they want. Man-made laws and those from the Divine are not deterrents for those who are already ruling hell on earth. Maybe Satan should be worried when they cross over to the other side.