Looking Back One More Time

Corner of Past, Present, and Future
Corner of Past, Present, and Future

“Were you able to look back on a few things?”

Yes, I did. Many things happened to me while I was with friends. Sometimes, with strangers. And a few times just by myself. Some things may happen again or never again. Some circumstances have changed and some have not. I have a great number of memories – both sad and happy – from just this year alone. Frankly, I’d like more of the latter than the former for next year. And, reader, I wish the same for you.

May we have more memorable moments in 2016. From my blog to you, Happy New Year!


For the curious, the image is a screenshot from an anime.

Kekkai Sensen, also known as Blood Blockade Battlefront, is quite a revelation. The story is a riot that builds quite a pitch then crashes with laughter and tears. The suits that most of the characters use are eye candies. And the soundtrack – with one CD using mostly songs with English lyrics – is an eargasm. If you liked the OST of Cowboy Bebop and Baccano, you may want to give this one a try.


Hello, World by Bump of Chicken


Catch Me If You Can by Ai Ninomiya


On My Own by Ai Ninomiya


Land of Nod by Ben Lorentzen


Sugar Song to Bitter Step by Unison Square Garden

The Trumpeter Sings! | Perfect Day

Halloween is officially over by this time.

So – in the modern-day Philippines – that means the jack o’ lanterns give way to candles, spiderwebs to tinsel, scarecrows to pine trees, severed heads and jars of curiosities to crystal balls and stars, and flying witches on brooms to jolly fat men dressed in red riding a reindeer-led sleigh. Also, the “Thriller” is silenced as “Snow” plays in a tropical country.

By next week, I’ll have put together a decent Christmas playlist. If I remember, maybe I’ll post it here.

Pardon my excitement though but I just couldn’t hold back my excitement. I just discovered that one of my favorite jazz artists, Chris Botti, didn’t just record songs for the Holiday season. He also sang in one of them!

I could almost imagine how, decades ago, when fans of the late great Chet Baker first heard his singing voice. It would’ve probably been a mix of surprise, curiosity, and awe. My guess is that people are like that: discovering something as wonderful as a (singing) voice adds a dimension, color, depth – even life! – to an, image, a character, a person we like.

The Perfect Hideout | I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose

Where do you go when you’re having a bad day?

I was having one earlier today. I was feeling so rotten. Radio was one of my refuges but it could only do so much—that was until I heard a particular line.

“Just waiting for the perfect hideout”

That was the only string I caught. The chorus had already ended. The words were silent. Only the music remained. So I searched for the lyrics. I was basically bowled over when I discovered who the artist was: Bombay Bicycle Club.

English indie band Bombay Bicycle Club has been my favorite since I first heard their “Lights Out, Words Gone” a couple of years ago. I fell in love with their music more when I immersed myself in their 2010 album, “Flaws”. And “Shuffle” could never be played just once.

One of favorite bands rescued me today with just one song of theirs: “Luna”.

Immediately, I looked for the song. It wasn’t difficult to find a hit from last year. Easily, I liked it. The recognizable Indian strains made the song all the more interesting. The “Ah-ooo-ooo” is just too fun not to sing. And drum in the chorus is just intense!

Because it has a fast tempo and quite danceable, it’s not surprising that there are a number of remixes for it.

While I love the remixes and the many live acoustic versions, one stands out from the rest.

The In:Demand Uncut version translates the song into an emotion different from that made in the studio. There is an ethereal, almost magical quality about the arrangement, emphasized by the choice of instruments used by Bombay Bicycle Club for the session. It’s like when the moon, while in its fullest, would peek from the dark clouds—but only for such a brief moment, like a short, sweet dream that happened while you’re awake.

Personally, I believe that the version would not be out of place had it been included in “Flaws”.

“Luna” saved me. It got me to shake my blues loose in an existent place where I felt safe.

Choosing “Mary” (It’s Not Sting)

“Oh. It’s that ‘Mary’ song.”

You know how you don’t know the title of a song but are somehow familiar with it that you give it your own title? That is how I’ve been with that song for years now. But that’s not the only thing I’ve done with the “Mary” song.

I’ve never heard it in its entirety. Even this morning, when it was playing on the radio, I skipped it and surfed for other stations but, when I couldn’t find a good song, I went back to it. My choices were sappy, angry, or “Mary”. I chose “Mary”.

Because of its melody, I was slowly getting in a cheery mood.

Easily, I began to look for its lyrics. Only when the results appeared did it dawn on me: I had associated it with the wrong singer. All these years, I’ve thought that it was The Police or Sting who was the artist behind “Mary”. Turns out, it’s Danny Wilson. I don’t who he is. I could almost swear that Danny’s voice has that Sting quality to it ergo my decades-long mistake.

Predictably, I began to like the song the more times I repeated it. So, I looked for other versions of it. Jason Donovan made a cover of it that sounds straight from an 80s movie. And BBMak has an unreleased rendition of it.

This is one of those few times when a song saved my day. Just ask the officemates because they’ve been tortured by my singing for a good hour or two. Though I don’t know what saves them from my voice.

Triangulo | Struck a Chord

How many times could you play in a loop the same song in the same day?

I think I just discovered my song for the month. It’s called “Triangulo”, written by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana. The duo and Jeric Medina performed the song, which was also the Grand Prize Winner for Philpop 2015. With just its opening bars, I already knew I would fall in love with it. And I was right!

Frankly, I have lost count on how many times the song has been on repeat. And I don’t think I would be tired of it anytime soon. Do you get tired of playing the same song repeatedly?

Strangely, its energy and sentiment reminded me “Dati”, which is also a winner of a song contest. And after going across comments, I learned that Thyro and Yumi are also the brains behind that song and “Kilometro” as well.

Now, why have I fallen in love with this song?

That’s a loaded question. Undeniably, I was hooked by the melody. But what made me listen was the story: two guys are asking a girl to take responsibility and choose the one she wants more. Songs that brush on infidelity have always struck a chord with me–not that I have been a philanderer, mind you.

Also, there’s the play on words. This song is about a love triangle and triangle in Filipino is tatsulok. But the Tagalized version triangulo is also accepted. Besides being Tagalized, the title is also a portmanteau of “try” and “ang gulo-gulo” (messy, confusing).

Referring to such a mess and confusion speaks to me, in so many ways.

Living | Daily Prompt: Mix Tape

Put together a musical playlist of songs that describe your life, including what you hope your future entails. 

As Long As I Can Dream – Expose

Believe – DB Boulevard

Bruises – Train and Ashley Monroe

Clouds – Newton Faulkner

Dare To Dream – John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John

Dare You To Move – Switchfoot

Emmet’s Morning – Mark Mothersbaugh

Go The Distance – Michael Bolton

Goobledigook – Sigur Ros

Heart In Hand – Vertical Horizon

Hold On – Wilson Phillips

Horizon – Ashby

I Lived (RED) Remix – OneRepublic

I Stand Alone – Bryan White

If You Get Scared – D’Sound

I’m On My Way – Rich Price

Keep Marchin’ – Raphael Saadiq

Keep Your Head Up High – Andy Grammer

Looking For A Place To Land – Dakota Moon

New Deep – John Mayer

Permission To Shine – Bachelor Girl

Rise – Boyzone

Roar – Tyler Ward and Two Worlds

Stand – Rascal Flatts

The Fighter – Gym Heroes and Ryan Tedder

The Climb – Joe McElderry

Try Again – Westlife

Typical – Mutemath

Ugly – Sugababes

What Faith Can Do – Kutless

Would You Be Happier – The Corrs

You Gotta Be – Natalie Cole

Homage to Human Potential | Daily Prompt: Worldly Encounters

The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?

Book: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I am the Messenger
I am the Messenger
By Markus Zusak
Re-read: March 2012

Song: “Stand” by Rascal Flatts

Movie: “Quartet” (2012) directed by Dustin Hoffman

“Quartet” (2012) directed by Dustin Hoffman
“Quartet” (2012) directed by Dustin Hoffman

The book, song, and movie speak about disregarding where the character is in his or her life and starting there, making a turn or going wherever to begin anew. They are odes to choices and homage to human potential, no matter the age, time, or place.

More Wedding-Worthy Songs | Invoking God’s Presence and Blessing

Is there such a thing as too much love songs?

Not that I wouldn’t know myself. So, I found myself looking at my previous playlists. It was then I realized that the one I gave Pam was heavy on the secular side and she’ll be having a church wedding. At least, that’s how I remember it. So I looked for songs that invoked God’s presence into the moment, the day, and the life ahead.

Hopefully, these additional songs could tip the balance.

Answered Prayer – Bob Carlisle & Lisa Beville

By Heart, By Soul – Avalon with Aaron Neville

Cherish the Treasure – Steve Green and Marijean Green

Give Me Forever (I Do) – John Tesh with James Ingram

God Causes All Things to Grow – Steve Green and Marijean Green

Greatest Story Ever Told – Oliver James

Holdings Hands – Steve Green

Household of Faith – Steve Green and Marijean Green

I Promise – Jaci Velasquez

Love Never Fails – Brandon Heath

Made For You – Watermark

The Day Before You – Matthew West

The Marriage Prayer – John Waller and Josee Waller

The Wedding Song – Peter, Paul, and Mary

What I Really Want to Say – Steven Curtis Chapman

When God Made You – Newsong featuring Natalie Grant

34-Strong Stretch | The Spice Boys Sing

After having spicy noodles and cold soy milk on Sunday, my friends and I went to TriNoma.

I asked Arby if he could bring his Timezone card with him. And he did! That is why we were able to hangout for more than an hour at the arcade just singing to whatever we liked. Our choice of songs ranged from fitting to weird. All in the name of fun.

Note the last song, which is homage of sorts for the patron goddess. And that is how we wanted to end the 34-strong stretch.

Firewoman – Hungry Young Poets

Crash and Burn – Savage Garden

All of Me – John Legend

For the First Time in Forever – Idina Menzel

On and On – Stephen Bishop

Your Song – Parokya Ni Edgar

Where Do Broken Hearts Go – Whitney Houston

I Wanna Be With You – Mandy Moore

Back at One – Brian McKnight

I’d Really Love to See You Tonight – England Dan and John Ford Coley

Seven Things – Miley Cyrus

Here Without You – 3 Doors Down

To Where You Are – Josh Groban

Moonlight Over Paris – Peter Mayer

Love Team – Itchyworms

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

What Can I Do – The Corrs

Fireflies – Owl City

XGF – Spongecola

Love Song – Sara Bareilles

How to Save a Life – The Fray

Your Body is a Wonderland – John Mayer

Till They Take My Heart Away – Claire Marlo

How Do You Want Me to Love You – 911

My Sacrifice – Creed

Reset – Charice

Firework – Katy Perry

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

Pakisabi Na Lang – The Company

Cool Off – Session Road

Bituing Walang Ningning – Sharon Cuneta

Beer – Itchyworms

Torete – Moonstar 88

You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift