Friday, December 31, 2004
A NEW YEAR, A NEW SONG, A NEW LIFE
"If you think back, and replay your year, if it doesn't bring you tears, either joy or sadness, consider the year wasted."
- John Cage (Peter MacNicol) on Ally McBeal
If no one minds, I don't think I'll be doing any crying. I've done plenty of that during the first half of 2004, and I consider the fact that I don't feel the need to anymore a very good sign.
I wasn't planning on doing one of those "2004" round-ups, because I just feel like I want to keep more of my thoughts private. More and more people are reading this blog -- I have discovered this to be a fact, they just don't comment and make me think this is my little corner of the web -- and while other people might revel in the attention, there are some things I want to keep to myself, especially if *knock wood* things come to fruition this year, I will be in the public eye more than ever in 2005.
This year’s new year celebration was good, good enough that there were no sudden crushing announcements that had to deal with. But I was still a little pensive about the whole thing. Last year’s festivities events resonated in my mind, and perhaps – I don’t fear this, if this is the case than so be it – it will always be, like Chandler and his feelings on Thanksgiving. I basically divide 2004 into 2 halves, because of the 2 major events that defined them both: The end of my relationship in the first half, and joining Silent Sanctuary in the second. The former was the death of one dream; the latter was the fulfillment of another.
2004: THE FIRST HALF
I literally started off the 2004 literally having to deal with the sudden unexpected breakup with someone who I had devoted my heart and my life to for nearly 2 years. He was also the first person I had truly, truly loved and who I thought loved me back. I had been in love before, and I had been hurt before, but the feelings of pain and anguish and betrayal were so much to bear that sometimes it was an effort to just keep breathing.
And that was how I spent the new year last year; amidst my family all joyously celebrating the advent of 2004, I was merely sitting there, silent, despondent, in a haze of shock and denial and limbo hopelessly wishing for a reprieve that would never come. And when the breakup was finalized, that’s when my downward spiral began in earnest.
Every painful, pathetic cliché you ever heard about a broken heart, I went through. I looked for meaning and in whatever I read, watched, saw, trying to find answers and identification. I exhausted all of my friends who patiently sat and listened (in some cases, held my head in their laps as I sat curled on the couch) but in retrospect what I got out of it was the gaining of some true friends I knew I could count on for life. To paraphrase J.K. Rowling - there are some things you can’t go through together and not come out better friends because of it.
And that nugget about what does not kill you makes you stronger? Just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true. I’ve learned so much, about myself and about life:
- That I can endure what I most feared and thought unthinkable, and still be here.
- That Love can blind you to even the most glaring of deficiencies that seem obvious in retrospect, so one must be very careful.
- That Love CAN conquer all, but BOTH of you have to believe that.
- This is from Sex and the City: The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the You YOU love, well that’s just fabulous.
- That kindness is the most important thing to look for. More so than good looks, more so than passion, even more so than a hairy chest and a nice ass. Beauty can mask an ugly soul, passion burns out in weak hearts, and one can only live on sex for so long (at least, speaking strictly for myself). If I ever fall in love again, this time KINDNESS will be at the very top of my list of non-negotiables.
- That having NO relationship is infinitely better than having a BAD one.
- Great sex with no strings attached, if done with someone who floats your boat, can be fun and good waste of 3 hours.
- That said however, I still seek CONNECTION above all else: The love, the feeling that I genuinely care about the person that I’m with. That what I’m doing to him and vice versa is an expression of that love. Even during the aforementioned great -- hell, MIND-BLOWING even -– sex, I found myself STILL looking for that connection. Mere sex is not good enough for me. After a while, It’s even kind of boring, actually. By the Queer As Folk lifestyle that many pinoy gays (including my ex) ascribe to, this apparently makes me deviant. Par for the course, I’ve always been contrarian, even among the contrarians (I mean hello, gay rock star??).
- That ultimately, I STILL want to share my life with one man. Whether or not I find him in my lifetime, I don’t know if God has that planned for me. But if She doesn’t, I have to be okay with that.
- That it’s important to be happy and complete as yourself and not need anyone to define you and bring you happiness.
- By the same token, wanting love; REAL love, Crazy, Inconvenient, Wild, Funny, Amazing, Passionate, Can’t-Live-Without-You Love, is nothing to feel guilty about.
- And perhaps, the most difficult lesson of all that I’ve had to learn: That you can do your absolute damnedest to try and make things work, you can give up everything -- willingly and with no regrets – your heart, your soul, your absolute trust to someone, and sometimes? It. Just. Doesn’t. Work. And it’s no one’s fault. Not really, in so much as you can blame someone for being human.
It took me a year, just like Charmaine said all those months ago back in Alabang’s Rock Radio at the Sandwich album launch. But I’m happy now. If anything, my recent trip to Hong Kong all but affirmed it, because I was absolutely on the PROWL; as cute bears of Asian and European persuasion were catching my eye everywhere I went. You’d think I was in a food expo with all the turning and looking and drooling I was doing.
Am absolutely ready to start dating again, WITHOUT issues. More importantly, I am ready to start dating with standards, not just any guy that comes my way because I “need” to be with someone. If someone asks me out or a friend wants to fix me up, I'm game (especially if they're treating, tee hee). Conversely, if I am going through a dating dry spell, that’s fine too. (any cute, chunky Sean Astin-types reading this?? E-mail me!!!)
And as one door closes, another window opens: Sometime during the middle of the year, a good friend named Joey told me about this band that was looking for a vocalist…
To be concluded
FIRST POST OF THE YEAR
I'm still alive
Hey, I'm still alive
Oh, I'm still alive
- Pearl Jam
Saturday, December 25, 2004
OFF I GO
....To Hong Kong again, for four days and three nights with my family this time. And unlike last time with my aunts, I'll actually be able to take my time and go to the places I want to.
This will be the first time in years that the entire family is going to Hong Kong again, and the first time in a long while that the entire family is travelling together. I'm really looking forward to this trip. In fact, aside from a couple of things on my "to-do" list (mainly, go to a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop and visit Tom Lee Music store) I have absolutely NO plans. Nada. I am just going to relax and go with the flow on this trip. Just enjoy the moment.
Hope you all had a good Christmas. See you all on tuesday.
Friday, December 17, 2004
ME: You know, you look really happy. You just have this... air about you. Iba talaga.
ME: And believe me, I'm happy that you're happy.
JOEY: How about you, how are you? Are you happy?
ME: *pauses* ......you know what? Yeah, I am happy.
What surprised me the most was that I didn't even have to lie when I said that.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Check it out people :)
Sunday, December 12, 2004
WORDS FROM A MASTER
Basic Lesson from the Great Buddy Zabala, bass player extraordinaire:
"The wonderful thing about playing any musical instrument, is that you are not necessarily forced to play according to the nature of the instrument. If you were to play the bass guitar as a bass guitar, then you've merely limited it and yourself. But if you can play the bass guitar as if it were a trombone, a trumpet, a keyboard, or a drum kit, then you've basically unlocked the mysteries of what the bass guitar is, what it can do, and it's raison d'etre.
When you play the bass, think HORN SECTION! Think DRUMS! Explore the percussive nature of the instrument and exploit all frets. It is both math and art. Playing is knowing combinations and shapes in the fret board. Playing music is trying to encapsulate emotions given a set of parameters in playing. It is trying to capture an intense feeling and explaining it through the instrument. Do not leave any space untouched for your listeners to second guess. Make your feelings obvious."
And on a personal note, can I just add that Buddy Zabala, is one of the kindest, most personable human beings you will ever meet. Despite being a member of one of the most influential and culturally significant OPM rock groups in history, the man has no 'rock star' airs whatsoever. And I am extremely honored to call him my friend.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
I will surrender and lay down my arms
I will surrender and lay down my arms
I will surrender and let you in
I will surrender and let it begin.
PLUGS, PLUGS, PLUGS
Silent Sanctuary will be guesting on NU 107's morning program The First Show this saturday, Dec. 11. The show starts at 6am and the band will come on at around 8 AM. We will (presumably) be talking about the band, the upcoming album, and an acoustic, live performance. Yay!
Please do listen in. Start your morning right by listening to my soothing voice. (it's a good thing you can't see how I am SO not having a straight face right now)
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
"When you grow up gay, you’re outside the mainstream and have a different take on the world. That’s why gay artists have had such a powerful influence on popular culture—because they are willing to go to different places and face brave new worlds.”
- Desperate Housewives creator and head writer Marc Cherry
Sunday, December 05, 2004
FUN WITH PHOTOSHOP
Actually, PhotoPAINT to be exact. Just something I did to keep myself busy while I procrastinated from finishing the songs I'm working on:
Not an actual PULP cover. Call it a future goal. Please don't sue me, Mr. Vernon Go.
Loving involves two phases:
The first, intuitive one is loving the person because of who he is.
The second, nobler one is loving the person despite of who he is not.
The first one sparks love. The second one makes it last.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
I'M A MODEL YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN
More pics from the SilentSanct photo shoot:
Our PULP cover (feeling!!)
I have to work on keeping myself from smiling
when we're all trying to look serious.
Your requisite "Band jumping in the air" pose.
Every band worth their salt has to have at least one.
Pwede na pang-endorsement. Hehehe!
Friday, December 03, 2004
Am sitting in front of the computer with an ever expanding stomach. Last night was just an orgy of gastronomic indulgence, starting the Manila Peninsula's Chocolate Indulgence Dessert Buffet, where an array of chocolate in all forms including, but not limited to: Truffles, terrines, flourless cakes, fondue, ice cream, pudding, macaroons, mousse and some more I can't remember because I probably went into a sugar-induced stupor after that.
Along with Adam and Charmaine, at the last minute the party ballooned to include Therese, Sanya, Nic, Naz, Katrice, Francis and Rina (hope I got that one right). I hadn't been in a group that big in a while, and it was a lot of fun. (as an aside: after cutting and pasting all those links, it feels like a bloggers convention, no? hahah! anyway...)
Going back to the buffet, there were more misses than hits, and it was definitely expensive, but as a chocoholic this is something I had to do at least once. The winners of the bunch were definitely the truffles and the chocolate shots, a delicious mixture of creme de menthe and chocolate liqueur topped with a blueberry in a tiny shot glass. The mixture of alcohol and sugar and chocolate in one shot glass is just one of those absolutely perfect combinations that makes life worth living.
After sitting back for about an hour and letting the sugar crash overtake us, we left Manila Penn and decided to get some actual food; following Adam & Char's trademarked method of dining of starting with dessert first and working your way back. We ended up in UCC Coffee in The Fort, where I admittely had some reservations about going to because of its' price, most infamously for a P300 cup of coffee.
But after perusing -- excuse me, gazing lovingly -- at the menu, I discovered that there were at least a dozen things that I wanted to try: Curry Rice, Spaghetti with unagi, Fried Chicken Spaghetti (I have no idea how that would taste, but it just sounds delicious, doesn't it?) eventually I settled on their Cliffhanger sandwich; their version of a Monte Cristo with a double decker sandwich consisting of chicken fillet, scrambled eggs, bacon and mozzarella cheese all dipped in egg batter and deep-fried to a golden crunchy deliciousness.
Need I say that it was absolutely heavenly? I have an all-new appreciation for UCC. Before, you see, I saw it as yet another Starbucks' clone which made Starbucks' look cheap. But really, with its' extensive menu of interesting foods served in huge portions, it's more akin to a Chili's or TGIF, but with coffee instead of alcohol. Viewed that way, as a place to grab some really good food and hang out with your friends on payday weekend in a well-lit, non-bar environment, UCC is a winner.
And hang out we did. We spent the rest of the night just sitting by the outside tables, digesting all of the food we had eaten throughout the night (along with all the chocolate I just had, I must have consumed about a gazillion calories) and exchanging the most horrible jokes (example: Q: What's blue, three apples high and lives in the woods? A: A Smurf. Q: What's black, three apples high and lives in the woods? A: A Smigger) I don't know if it was the mixture of caffeine and chocolate and sugar and exhaustion, but for some reason the jokes ended up being way, way funnier than they actually were, with Therese being rendered the most immobile because of her laughing.
Eventually though, we all had to call it a night and we left in our separate vehicles. After dropping Kat, Adam & Charmaine home, I tumbled into the shower, washed up and crawled into bed. It was a fun, fun night, something I hadn't done in a while after countless weekends of simply staying in. It's not something I see myself doing all that often (my wallet would die) but the benefits of it are definitely worth it.
I'm just the tiniest bit concerned that I'm going to be gaining soooooooooo much weight this December. I mean, it's only the 4th and I'm already pigging out like there's no tomorrow. What happens when the wave of Christmas dinners and parties start coming?
Thankfully, SilentSanct has few gigs this month, and no photo shoots or Video appearances for me to look pretty for. In fact, our biggest gig for this month is an appearance on NU 107's The First Show on saturday, Dec. 11 at 8 in the morning where we will be radio guesting and doing an acoustic set. Because it's radio, I don't even have to look good for it, so hahahahahahahaha!!!
Let the bloating commence. I can diet in January.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
STRIKE A POSE
You know the great thing about photography? (as opposed to video) You can suck in your stomach for the 1/25th of a second it takes to snap a pic, and presto, you have a photo of yourself looking thin and fabulous for life. Deception rules! Mwahahahahahaha.