MM: American Idol’s Lee DeWyze – You’re still The One

Here’s a much delayed post for Music Monday:

I missed Idol last week, but thanks to a friend on FB, I get to listen to Lee’s wonderful rendition of You’re Still The One. Could be better than the original 🙂 It’s the same feeling I got when I heard David Cook’s Always Be My Baby.

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Legend of the Seeker

Had I known that this series has been out since 2008, I’d have looked all over the net to watch it. I was finally able to watch the catch-up marathon at the Sci-Fi Channel the day after Christmas. My dad suffered through the day watching with me, LoL.

The series is loosely based on “The Sword of Truth” series by Terry Goodkind. This series is one of two epic fantasy series that my brother and I followed through the years, the other one being “The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan. I used the word loosely because they didn’t strictly adhere to the books for the serialized TV version. Once you reconcile yourself with that, a true fan would be able to sit back and enjoy the shows. Of course, I’d still would prefer the original, but it isn’t so bad really.

Seeing this fantasy world on-screen made me want to reread the books. I haven’t even read Phantom and Confessor, the last two books, partly because I don’t really want the epic to end yet. Haha. My brother lent the first book, Wizard’s First Rule, to a friend and I don’t think we got it back so if I want to read them again I’d actually have to make another purchase. I wouldn’t mind that. Perhaps I’ll try looking for it in second hand bookshops 😉

Anyway, I can’t get enough of Bridget Regan; I love Kahlan, even when I’d much prefer to pronounce her name as Kah-lan, rather than Khay-lan as they do. They picked the perfect actress. I might just go ahead name a future daughter after her. 🙂

Here’s another fan-made vid:


Ketsana and Parma

Ketsana and Parma – these are the international names of the two typhoons that recently hit the Philippines, and other Southeast Asian countries. In the Philippines, they are known as Ondoy and Pepeng respectively.

Ondoy hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Central Luzon and  Southern Tagalog. Pepeng spared the metro but unleashed its wrath on Northern Luzon. Both have been merciless, taking lives and claiming properties and livelihood.

I feel bad that I have neither donated nor volunteered my time and efforts into any of the many relief operations that are out there. While hundreds have been mobilized to repack donations and bring them to disaster-struck areas, I have remained home pondering on the brain scans I have had done, and my tummy that’s been unwell since the floods.

To comfort myself, I’ve been telling myself that we are survivors of the flood too and my family and relatives also need my time and material donations (if I can afford any). We are the type of people who don’t normally receive any relief goods or help from government or socio-civic organizations. We just don’t fit their profiles. But this time, some relief goods found their way to 99 19th Street. These came mainly from our church. Some politicians, campaigning early, also sent us a few food items. All are much appreciated. 🙂

What we really needed though, and I am sure that many others still do too, are helping hands for the cleanup and rebuilding.

Manpower is what will be needed most in Northern Luzon so they can rebuild their homes and recover their livelihood. For sure, there will be an outpouring of dry clothes, medicines, and food. But let’s not forget that they need help with the cleanup as well. My mom told me today that one of the projects they were discussing was to mobilize young people who are here studying in Manila, due for a break after the school year’s first semester, and take them back to NL where they can help out.

If you personally know someone who was affected by the back-to-back disasters, volunteer to be with them. Help them clean up. They wouldn’t ask it of you, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to show up on their doorstep and spend time with them. If you don’t have the means to donate goods, this is the best thing you can offer.

Many organizations who responded to calls for help still have ongoing operations. From Ondoy relief, I am sure they will continue further operating to help the victims of Pepeng. There is a comprehensive list of contacts here:

If you want your donations to go directly to children, here’s a site that will welcome your donations. I found about them just yesterday:

As for my own Ondoy experience, I guess I’ve grown a little tired of retelling the story. I started it last week here in my blog, but didn’t quite have the energy to continue. I have posted some pictures on my FB which I will slowly share on my photo blog. So please do visit my Digital Memories if you wish to see my photos of Ondoy’s visit to my home. I so far only have three posts there pertaining to the typhoon, but there soon will be more.

With all the deaths, and the illnesses that the two typhoons left in its wake, I wonder what kind of life many of our fellow Filipinos face in their future. Do they, like me, have the privilege of holding comprehensive health plans that will cover their medical bills? Did those who pass away invest in term insurance quotes, are they covered with life insurance that will allow their families to receive some amount to help them rebuild their lives? Have we learned any lesson from all this?

I pray that they all still look forward to a bright future, despite of what has happened.


While having a late lunch today, Alfred and I were tuned in to Cinema One anda Vilma Santos-FPJ starrer was showing. It’s a 1974 film entitled Batya’t Palu-Palo.

In one of the scenes, Stella (Vilma’s character) brought a group of her friends home to their hacienda for a vacation. The girls were chatting in the living room, then suddenly there was guitar music and here come the boys, singing. Then one of the girls take up the lead vocals, and eventually everyone just sings. I know it was normal in Philippine movies to have song and dance numbers, but this one didn’t look so contrived. It’s seemed like the most natural type of thing to do. To break out in song with your friends. Jamming. Haha 🙂

I remembered mentioning this to Alfred on Saturday: don’t we have friends anymore who we could just hang out and jam with? I missed that from high school when Jo and I, or some other high school friends, would just hang out with our guitars and songhits. Strumming away and singing. How many hours had we spent doing these?

Take me back.


The world was shocked with the news of the passing of two pop culture icons: Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett.  Having been born in the ’80s, we grew up seeing both of them on TV.  We sang and danced along MJ’s hits and enjoyed his MTVs.  We followed their sometimes controversial lives too.

Recently (before their deaths), they were on the public eye once more. Farrah’s Story premiered back in May. It’s a documentary of her battle with anal cancer.  At the time of the premier, there was some buzz about it. I was hoping to watch the whole documentary on YouTube but only found part 5.  Even with just that part though, one can already be moved by her story.  I hope they show the full docu in the Philippines.

Here are two video montage of Farrah’s, both prepared before her death.  There are many tributes posted by fans but I chose to showcase these two because the music wasn’t heavy, and the photos of Farrah show her just the way I see her in my mind.

Oops. The embed feature is not enabled for the other video, so here’s the link to it instead:

The Jacko was also in the news recently as there’s a scheduled World Tour signaling his comeback. His life was riddled with controversies and I must admit, it was the issues involving kids that had me turning away from him.  But no matter how he led his personal life, it cannot be denied that he made great music that has influenced many many others.

There are so many video tributes for MJ, but this is probably my favorite acoustic rendition of Thriller:

I didn’t know Emily Elbert, but I like her and will try to find more of her music.

Here in the Philippines, the YouTube famous Dancing Inmates also prepared a tribute for MJ whose Thriller music video was their inspiration for their most popular performance:

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