April 16, 2013

bumpy: a safe seclusion

For the past months, I've not written anything at all, yes and I am terribly sorry for that, I wasn't writing online, I was writing in notebooks, in papers, in my mind and in a recorder. The 2-month hiatus was because I was writing songs.

A quick background: When I was in my sophomore year in high school (that was in 2007, yes I'm not in my teen years anymore, time passes so fast!) I was in a punk-rock-alternative band. I was around 16 at the time and we already had gigs around Manila, I could never forget walking around in Malate, seeing the night life and of course, the prostitution that was going around by that time.

I was the vocalist and we never actually got to sing an original, but I was writing back then, I wrote my first song one night in a beach in Zambales, it was also my birthday that night, but that wasn't my party, but anyway I enjoyed writing ever since, I wrote about 2 or 3 songs in high school, it was really in college that I started writing songs heavily (because I took up Journalism) and song writing for me is like my diary, each song is a sneak peek of my life, and since all the songs in this first "album" is all about love, hence, it's a novel about my love life (Cheesy pare, gravyyyyy)

Why call it "a safe seclusion"? - When I wrote these songs (except 2 songs) I was always on my own, either I was lonely or happy, depressed or inspired, I believe I write most honest when I'm on my own. It was my way of venting out emotions, either song or poetry but it was mostly songs. I really never liked hugging a friend while crying over it or getting drunk so much just to "forget the feeling", or maybe I just really got used to getting hurt a lot that I can contain it like a pro (awww, sad to say haha)

So I hope you can relate to at least one of my songs and like it. Remember: You can share the songs or even download it! It's absolutely free, I just want to share the music, and maybe help someone on the way with my songs. Cheers!

1. 18 Last Letters - A song I wrote in 2010, it's about writing love letters and the love that was lost.

2. Still Asking Why We Fell Apart - Written in 2011, remember when you just woke up one day and you're just full of questions about what happened? How did it all go to waste? Why did it end?

3. I keep on lying - A 2009 song, one of the old ones. This is about being in denial, saying that you've moved on but still, whenever you see that person, the love just comes back.

4. In A Second - Not sure if this was written in 2011 or 2012, but this is written by my good friend Thea L. It was originally a poem that I asked if I could make a song out of it, it's about a love that faded away, in a second.

5. I Do - Written late in 2012, it's about really being confused if to take a leap of faith or not, to continue and go for broke and the regret that you once loved each other, but someone just bailed out.

6. Free - Another oldie, written in 2008. It's about letting go. Nuff said. Haha!

7. Wake Up - I wrote it early in 2013. If free was letting go, this one's about leaving because I've had enough. (Naks, lakas)

8. Worlds Apart - Early parts of 2012. About two persons that just drifted apart.

9. Langit - Written in the summer of 2010, probably this is the one I really did enjoy recording, it has a simple and relaxing tune. Everybody has to listen to this. It's about telling someone that their secret's safe with you, that you'll accept whoever he/she is.

10. Love (John Lennon Cover) - I really love John Lennon, he's one of my musical influences, and I really really love his voice, so I did this cover for him.

Enjoy listening, it's ok to cry if you feel like crying. And remember, this music is free! Download and share! It's not everyday someone gives free music right? Cheers!

January 12, 2013

Wandering Ilocos: Day One - PART 2 - Empanada, Vigan and that Dinuguan

Everybody here knows the stall "Yumpanada" right? Well, in Vigan there's a different way of making it, or should I say there's a "traditional" way of making one.

Well it has some veggies, pork and the one that makes it distinct from other empanadas is the egg and the thin wrapping to provide that crispiness. It's also big, one serving is almost a full meal, and you have to eat it with vinegar to get the full taste of Vigan's empanada.

Bantay Church

The Bantay Church Bell Tower was said to be built first than the Church to see incoming people to the city, 10 years ago this bell tower is not open for public, it can only be watched from a distance, about a 100 meters away and this was the only memory I have when we went to the North 10 years ago. It was nice seeing it opened now for public and tourists swarming all over it, when I went there a decade ago, we were the only ones looking at it!

Then after that we checked out a jar making shop, I tried it and it was hard, the clay they were using were soil from rice paddies, so it's really sticky and forming it while it spins around is just so tricky that I wasn't able to make one. It's a hard art to do, the man said after forming the jar, they let it dry in the open-shaded room where it stays for another 3-4 weeks before being sold.

Crisologo Street, Vigan - The World Heritage site, Vigan, whose original name came from a Chinese (Hokkien) word "Bee Gan" meaning "beautiful shore," is one of the last remaining, untouched, well-preserved old Spanish cities in the country. Its narrow streets could only accomodate two-way Kalesa traffic.

One of the really old houses. You can clearly see the preservation it has undertaken over the years.

Children in a coffee shop.
And of course, I wouldn't miss my signature traveling shot.

 Dinuguan Pizza at Saramsam Restaurant
 We went to a restaurant called Saramsam, particularly for its famous "Dinuguan Pizza" a Pork Viand cooked with Pig's Blood in a Pizza. For me, I just had to try this!!! Because "Dinuguan" is my favorite filipino dish, yes, other people wouldn't dare to eat a black gooey viand, but to me, it's heaven! So we ordered, waited for an hour, which my dad wasn't really fond of, comes out berating the staff for its long service. My mindset was just to eat that Dinuguan Pizza. Then we finally got a taste of it! It was good, and actually, it can be done by anyone, just order pizza, then put the Dinuguan all over the pizza, it's a mix of salty, sweet and sour thing going on there.

Day one ended with a happy tummy and tired legs. I didn't even take a bath first, I just laid in the bed for an hour before taking one. So this ends day one, watch out for day 2! Cheers!

January 5, 2013

Wandering Ilocos: Day One - PART 1 - The Ilustrados of Ilocos

6:15 a.m. - After our night flight to Laoag, in Ilocos Norte, I woke up with my back aching again,it's always been a problem whenever I travel, my scoliosis isn't used to the bed, so I took a 15-minute back stretching to relieve the pain.

7:00 a.m. - Breakfast time! I eat breakfast when I travel, I don't know why I'm like this, but when I am at home, I eat Brunch, because anything I eat before 10 a.m. is rejected by my system.

Loaded Breakfast
I'm traveling with the family, it means everything's FREE! To travel for free is one of my favorite blessings in life.

We left the home we were staying at past 8:30 a.m. and we were a bit late, which I don't like when traveling, especially with a loaded itinerary. We weren't staying at a hotel but in a "Homestay" - They said homestay is more popular than staying in hotels. Actually it feels pretty nice, it's like being in a hotel that offers a full hours for yourself, the breakfast is buffet! Air-conditioned rooms and it's much cheaper too!

This is our "Homestay" only 15 minutes away from the airport.
The first stop - Juan Luna Museum

The house was renovated because it was destroyed by fire. But still, you could see the old remains of the walls were integrated with the renovated parts and it was a great renovation. In the Luna museum you would see how he helped the revolution by designing the uniforms. The story of his paintings are also there, even his brother, Antonio Luna's uniform and sabers were on display. The Luna museum is free of charge, just a little donation would be enough.

Second on the go - Syquia Museum

The Syquia Residence was dubbed as the first "Malacanang of the North" because this is where the late former President Elpidio Quirino would stay, this is also his wife's residence. The wide hallways, the european-inspired furniture and of course, the "peep holes" - it is where the rich would look if they would allow a visitor up to the second floor without them being seen.

Lunch was a so-so, thanks to Maggi Savor, it became my Savior. 
The Third - Crisologo Museum

At first I kept asking myself "Who's Floro Crisologo?" "I must be forgetting my Philippine history." "Who is he?!" - Until I joined a tour guide and said that he was a former Congressman. Then I said to myself "oh, politics, something I know nothing of." The Crisologo residence is also a big one, with a lot of old portraits, the house is also old because I could hear the wooden floor planks creaking with my every step. I kept saying "shit" whenever I hear a big creak. I learned that Crisologo authored the Social Security System or more known as the S.S.S. - Thanks to him. He was assassinated, by the way.

To the Fourth! - Padre Burgos Birthplace

This is the museum I really felt weird, you see, it's a birthplace of a Priest. A Martyr. He was one of the GOMBURZA that were executed - Then they charge an entrance fee. An entrance fee? In the birthplace of a priest? Are you kidding me? Seriously, a birthplace of a martyr, are you kidding me? So whatever, we paid and, OH NO, NOT AGAIN! This museum ain't about Fr. Burgos, it was all about other Ilocos-born heroes. So while touring the house all I saw were the great, the legends of Ilocos. My favorite revolutionary hero Gregorio Del Pilar was also there. The only good things in the museum were the Garrote Replica and the old telephone booth.

The museums are best visited during random days, not post-Christmas trips, it was crowded and it was hard to get photos. This is part 1, see you in the second part! Cheers!