Hearing Winners

Have you ever listened to a song and thought it was a winner? Some months ago, a friend posted “Monumento”, a creation of veteran composer Jungee Marcelo and is one of his two entries for this year’s Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs, a songwriting and music video competition. It is interpreted by two of the […]

Not The Same (Christmas) Song

Yesterday, I was with Marvin for a hefty merienda, which is a whole other story.

While we were catching up with each other and swapping stories, he told me about one Christmas party that he attended. He was actually the one who organized it but, despite that, he never knew what the group performers were planning. So, come party time, he and all the other attendees heard one song for the rest of the night: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” originally performed by Mariah Carey.

Some used only parts of it. Others used the whole song. Whichever, it was the same song for every number. My guess is that Marvin and the rest of the people at the party had enough of it in spite of the song being good.

In a way, I am grateful that I didn’t include it in the list of songs I shared with him. I could only imagine how he would’ve reacted had it been there. So, what is in my list of Christmas songs?


Angels We Have Heard On High – The Piano Guys


Central Park Serenade – Gregory Porter and Renee Fleming


Christmas Is The Time – Katherine McPhee


December (September) – Earth, Wind, and Fire with Tyler Ward


Elf’s Lament – Barenaked Ladies and Michael Buble


Everybody’s Waiting For The Man With The Bag – Seth McFarlane


In Your Care – 4Him


It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas – Harry Connick, Jr.


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of Year – Brian McKnight


Kumukutikutitap – The Company and The Ryan Cayabyab Singers


Let It Snow, Let It Snow – Jamie Cullum


Mon Beau Sapin – James Taylor


On A Night Like This – Chris Mann


Paskong- Pasko – Akafellas


Perfect Day – Christ Botti


Petit Papa Noel – Josh Groban


Rose of Bethlehem – Steve Green


Simple Things (Holiday Version) – Jim Brickman featuring Rebecca Lynn Howard


This Gift – 98 °


When Love Was Born – Dave Barnes


And with that, I bid you, dear reader, Happy Holidays!

The Unheard Muse in the Unseen Museum

My mistress – my muse – is strict and fickle.

She pays no mind if I do things by longhand or by the computer. It doesn’t matter to her if it is cursive or print, on a desktop or a laptop. Solitary or company is never an issue to her. As long as I heed the rules of the ritual, she remains my patron.

Always, I must approach cleansed. And I must walk with caution at my feet. I may head to her direction but she may not always be there. She could disappear or just be in hiding.

I enter her temple. Invisible, constant, unmanned, delicate, and bizarre. It is a shrine built by the winds, carried by the sun, and veiled by the moon. She is the muse and the place is hers, a museum. Its windows are on the ceiling. Its solitary door remains on the floor. Without her, the hall is quiet, cold, and dark. But it is not empty. It has never been empty.

Her museum continues to grow every day. She has no regard for the walls for there are none. There are only shelves.

The shelves contain nothing but music of both the living and the dead. The songs could be worded, wordless, worthless, worthy, or wordy. Maybe I should not have said worthless. It could invite her ire.

But that is what all those songs are for: to appease her, to invoke her, and to baffle her. She has many songs because her tastes change. What she likes now may not be the same one in the next second. Sometimes, she likes only one for days on end. To continually be in her good graces, I must remain aware of her shifting or stagnant preferences.

Songs fill her temple. So has silence. But, of all the voices heard there, none of them are hers. She has never spoken—not even to me.