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30 September 2006

eden sorupia on transportation networks and ecotourism in the philippines

based at a.n.u.’s department of political and social change, the a.n.u. philippine studies group (psg) organizes monthly potluck seminars by phd scholars and seasoned experts on philippine-related issues. it is usually held during the last friday of every month.

the other day, the speaker turned out to be my good friend eden sorupia. eden earned degrees in architecture (undergraduate) and urban and regional planning (m.a.) from the university of the philippines (u.p.). she taught architecture, planning and design at u.p. diliman, far eastern university and u.p. mindanao. she is currently a phd candidate at the university of melbourne’s faculty of architecture, building and planning.

for september’s psg, eden discussed transportation networks and ecotourism. eden's dissertation is largely a discourse on how transportation in tourism has been most often relegated to the opening of an access road to the tourist destination, the creation of trails or paths and, sometimes, the coordination of internal transport. eden’s research is focusing on the transportation networks and ecotourism destinations and how the relationship can be made more sustainable. using models from her fieldwork in brazil and switzerland, eden isn’t keen on replicating her models entirely vis-a-vis the philippine setting. instead, vital points from the brazilian and swiss experiences may be incorporated to improve the management of tourist destinations in the philippines.

i would have to agree with eden in regard to the way goods and services are being managed back home. much as we want to entice more tourists to visit the islands, philippine national and local authorities could not even do anything substantial to help improve the way tourists are received. and although it does not represent the entire industry, tourism-related professions back home have been concerned mainly with income generation instead of providing guests simultaneously with comfort in style.

for starters, the philippines does not have a very efficient railway system to connect major philippine towns and cities. buses, jeeps and tricycles have no fixed schedule. cabs do not follow the meter. important roads and bridges are perpetually under repair. whether guests are inside their hotel rooms or elsewhere, avoiding thieves/snatchers has become a way of living. we couldn’t even open manila's new international airport without controversy. everything is tainted with graft and corruption. the kind-hearted among our people have been upstaged very easily by the forces of evil. nakakahiya talaga.

the irony is that we have scenic locations that can rank prominently with the world’s best. negros oriental, palawan, cebu, bacolod, iloilo, davao, ilocos, bicol, tagaytay and the cordilleras have always been on top of my a-list. these places are certainly notches above what can easily be found in "thailand unforgettable," "surprising singapore" and "malaysia truly asia." and yet, very few people are genuinely committed to improve the state of the philippine tourism. people in the service industries couldn’t even afford to smile and properly treat their customers properly. many of them would have this “nagdadabog” look marked on their faces. many times, the likes of max alvarado and bella flores would even look gentler.

as eden suggests, somebody has to be on top to genuinely improve the state of philippine tourist destinations. from now on, the quality of experiences we can render to local and foreign guests should take greater precedence.

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eden sorupia with guests during a reception hosted by a.n.u. linguistics professor andrew and wife medina pawley at o' connor
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returning to dissertation work at coombs after the reception


alfred nicdao in forensic investigators this week

every week,
forensic investigators: australia's true crimes (wednesday, 8:30 p.m., on channel 7) highlight the brilliant detective and forensic science work that helped crack true-to-life cases in australia.

this week, filipino-australian actor alfred nicdao will be featured in an episode entitled "operation sorbet". shot in melbourne, melbourne airport and geelong, wednesday's episode touches on the swift action by the australian federal police to thwart a dramatic attempt to smuggle $A160 million worth of heroin into australian waters. alfred will portray the role of teng, a heroin drug smuggler.

forensic investigators is hosted by four-time gold logie winner lisa mccune.

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alfred nicdao, when he appeared weeks ago in blue heelers
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australian actors cliford poon and alfred nicdao
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victor wong gets caught by the police in forensic investigators
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alfred nicdao and victor wong behind the scenes in forensic investigators

23 September 2006

bring back the good old shows

i usually leave my office at 3:00 a.m. no big deal. my dorm is right across my research school. after taking my night shower, i watch australian t.v. these days, the nine network has brought back australian t.v. classics from the 1960s to the 1980s. produced by the legendary crawford productions, these titles include matlock (police drama), carson’s law (family/legal drama), skyways (airport drama), division 4 (police drama) and holiday island (surf, sand and sea drama). these old shows are now being aired again on weekdays from 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. each episode may be peppered with occasional stylistic conventions. nonetheless, i watch these shows religiously to see australia long before i got here. i take my seven hours of sleep immediately after watching.

of the crawford classics, i totally adore carson's law. screened before australian t.v. audiences from 1983 to 1984, this family/legal drama had predated the likes of l.a. law, ally mcbeal, the practice and boston legal. carson's law is even better. on the surface, it appears like a saga on the carsons, a very powerful melbournian family during the 1920s. but it is really more about jennifer carson (portrayed excellently by lorraine bayly), a feisty and independent widow, single mother and human rights lawyer who makes every effort to slug it out with the snooty, male-dominated victorian high society. jennifer was forced to pick up the pieces when husband william (jon sydney) passed on. to make ends meet, jennifer had to independently practice law again. even more importantly, she was engaged in battles relating to social, political, cultural and moral issues of the day.

quite frequently, the highlight of the series is jennifer’s never-ending collision with godfrey carson (kevin miles), her very influential father–in-law. godfrey is ultra-conservative. he upholds the traditional view that women should stay at home. he strongly opposed every bit of jennifer’s forward-moving ways. quite often, they represent opposite camps even in court.

show after show, lorraine bayly exemplified what good acting is all about. she portrays jennifer with compassion, conviction and penetrating lucidity. the creator (terry stapleton) and directors (chris langman, brian lennane, paul maloney, mandy smith and mark joffe) should be remembered for what appears to be a turning point in australian television. the crawfords made certain that every bit of art deco/art nouveau-infested 1920s had been meticulously translated on the small screen. even more significantly, carson’s law discussed and debated on touchy issues like the white australian policy, the widespread ill-treatment of the country’s aboriginal population, birth control, reproductive rights, feminism, widespread graft and corruption, breakdown of peace and order, services and facilities, "australians" vis-a-vis people of color, and so on. these issues were discussed within the contexts of the 1920s. but they were hugely significant to australia in the 1980s as they are these days under john howard's liberal cabinet.

perhaps somebody in the philippines should put up a new cable channel called nostalgia tv. classic philippine shows like your evening with pilita, carmen on camera, seeing stars with jq, tawag ng tanghalan, dance-o-rama, dance time with chito, nida-nestor show, kahapon lamang, student canteen, penthouse 7, lovingly yours, helen, superstar, stop, look and listen, the sensations, aawitan kita, lino brocka presents, balintataw, ms. ellaneous, two for the road, uncle bob and friends, ora engkantada, prinsipe abante, laff-in, john en marsha, kaluskos musmos, music factory, tang tarang tang, panagimpan, salamisim, duplex, champoy, nothing but the truth, see-thru, germside, ang bagong kampeon, eh kasi babae, chicks to chicks, iskul bukol, dear teacher, ryan ryan musikahan, tatak pilipino, baguio, cebu, davao, flor de luna, anna liza, abangan ang susunod na kabanata, teysi ng tahanan and many others can be reintroduced to accommodate both elderly and younger t.v. audiences. conversely, philippine terrestial t.v. networks can have these vintage presentations screened during the wee hours. i am certain about viewers clinging on to every bit of the foregoing.

there’s nothing like having a bit of nostalgia in our t.v. screens. after all, they can remind audiences about the way life used to be. as the saying goes, we couldn’t possibly move forward without the good old days.

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lorraine bayly as jennifer carson in carson's law (1983-1984)
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lorraine bayly as vera balovna in the pioneering australian sci-fi classic interpretis (1966)
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lorraine bayly as diana mannering in hunter (1967)
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lorraine bayly as faye hudson in neighbours (1990-1991)
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the man from snowy river (1982)
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1994 who magazine-organized reunion of the main cast of the prizewinning australian film "the man from snowy river" (1982): terence donovan, sigrid thornton, tom burlinson and lorraine bayly
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lorraine bayly, being interviewed by abc-tv's "talking heads" (2005)

15 September 2006


weeks back, i was jolted by rumors at uni that some students will be driven out of their respective academic offices. instead, more students will be holding offices in cottages outside the research school. some academic departments have been expanding. other units have been expected to give in.

the rumors turned out to be partly true. one particular department at the research school will be receiving more students, academic visitors and full-time teaching/research staff within the next few months. since my academic division is currently occupying heaps of floor space, it has been compelled to vacate at least 10 rooms (one wing). many students and faculty members have been reassigned to offices elsewhere. a number will have to go to a bungalow near the tennis courts and a bushland.

logistically, i thought that it would be difficult for me to move elsewhere. i am now writing my dissertation. and i am wrapping up. it would be oppressive to relocate heaps of books, films and archival materials at this point. it would be tough getting to used to an entirely new environment especially because i work from 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. it took me ages to acquire this rhythm and creative peak. furthermore, it would be relatively unsafe to walk home at night. in contrast, i have been crossing the street from dorm to research school and back.

fortunately, my academic supervisor had assured me that there will be no such problems. yesterday, i felt even more relieved when the (kind-hearted) division administrator said that i will be moving to a room some nine doors away.

as soon as i got the key, i moved everything from my old office to the new one. friends dropped by to help me settle in. a friend specializing in feng shui reminded me that my table should directly face the north or the east. another one suggested that books in shelves should entirely inhabit one side of the room. everybody else thought that my pc motherboard should be placed under my desk so i can easily find more space for books, films, dvd recordings, sound files and archival documents in active use.

till the wee hours, i used up my study period unpacking and fixing up my new office. then, hours later, some aussie friends took me to lunch at caterina’s--a.n.u.’s stylish yet unpretentious cafeteria behind the college of law. when i returned, other friends dropped by. one after another, they brought snacks, sweets and drinks to celebrate my moving in. i didn't realize that i've made quality friends here in canberra. they are the ones who truly count.

but i am not usually fond of parties and celebrations. i am a nerd in every sense of the word. nonetheless, i get overwhelmed with happy gestures from thoughtful friends. so there's added impetus now to joyfully write and rewrite my remaining thesis chapters.

right now, the thought of returning to u.p. excites me to no end. i am really itching to go home. i am always certain that over there, i will always be surrounded by family and friends. and there will be many students who can benefit from my academic training and professional experiences. numerous other lives may also be saved. in the end, i will be affirmed by this rootedness.

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caterina's at a.n.u.

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joyfully working on my dissertation from 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily
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new office at coombs building, a.n.u.

09 September 2006

on being different

i was a loner when i grew up by the backwaters of sampaloc, manila. i would pick up books from my grandfather’s library and attempt to read each volume aloud. though i couldn’t understand many of the words i read, i felt good seeing the magnificence of word arrangement. then i would draw images of nature (clouds, mountains, rivers, plains, islands with customary birds, palms and nipa huts) with pen, pencil, chalk and crayon not only on paper but also outdoors: in walls, floors, streets and fences. or i’d listen to the radio until the music plays on and on, well enough to put me to sleep.

deep inside, i really wanted to be like the other kids on the block. and i tried my best to fit in. but not being adept at basketball or street games like agawan-base, patintero or taguan, i was often ignored or left out in the cold. and at school, i never really excelled academically. nor was i superior elsewhere. i was that little boy who stuttered through recitations. the weakest link during physical education classes. the clumsy little one who spilled food and drinks all over his clothes during recess time. the one kids would laugh and stare at. the kind of mickey mouse bullies would go after.

so i created my imaginary world at home with books, drawings and music. not having too many toys to play with (my father was an honest government lawyer who wouldn’t hear of corruption; mom, on the other hand, gave up her job for many years so she can take care of the family), i would play with old eveready batteries and create fictional characters out of these. i would make lilliputian sets out of hangers, matches, ashtrays, shoe laces, strings, ribbons, magazines, cellophane and shoeboxes and direct my own narratives as i had seen these at the back of my mind. the narratives were usually based on fairy tales. i remember staging my own little version of hans christian andersen’s “the tin soldier”, carlo collodi’s “pinocchio” and oscar wilde’s “the selfish giant” out of these scrappy things. i also had my adaptation of philippine folk tales and legends (the lanzones one was my personal favorite).
i was alone but i was happy.

during breaks between classes, i would normally stand alone in one corner, watching everybody jump over each other as i keep an eye on my lunchbox (containing guava jelly sandwich wrapped in wax paper and sarsi cola inside a tupperware jug) fearing the possibility of intrusion. some kids would steal lunch kits and pass them around as some exotic object. academically, there were least six or seven students lording it over at the honor roll. i didn't think about making it to the top. but i wouldn't allow myself to fail. i made up for my limitations by being focused, driven and determined. i always persevered.

by sheer good fortune, i ended up with the right set of parents, siblings and teachers. elsewhere, i discovered that some people around me were just as isolated. increasingly, i became friends with the misfits. and i remained friends with them. nevertheless, i wouldn't allow myself to stay perpetually at the bottom rung. with diligence and even greater determination, i passed each level that was required of me and got myself successively out of ladders. i defied this or that pundit everywhere, each one previously declaring that i wasn't good enough to achieve anything. and that finally got me to where i am sitting.

my teaching job at u.p. diliman has brought me to many places across the country. these days, it has taken me around the world. still, there are kids who remain isolated wherever i go. many are rebuked, rejected or punished for being different. athletic scholars are particularly condemned for their atrocious grammar. creative students couldn't easily pass artihmetic and science. the nerdy ones remain socially inept. and nobody seems to be around to reverse the order of things. the stage easily belongs to poster boys and girls: those who read, write and speak passably, but who are at the same time, seemingly good-looking, seemingly polite, seemingly well-bred and seemingly “acceptable” to the norms of dominant culture.

though my classes at diliman are generally populated by many of the country's brightest students, many have been just as awkward as i had been when i was about their age. as a result, i end up exerting a great deal of effort to see something positive out of each student, each person and every individual that i bump into in and out of classrooms. there’s always strength out of a person’s many weaknesses. many times, i have proven this to myself and to life's crazy pundits.

life has always been far from perfect. but i have been directed by some measure of success to encourage people, especially students at uni, so they can finally put an end to oppression running across their daily lives.

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little boy lost
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this used to be my playground: apartment units at the back of our house near dapitan and piy margal streets, ca. early 1970s
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the back of u.s.t. main building and u.s.t. high school, ca. early 1970s
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u.s.t. main building, ca. 1970s
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my other playground: the junction of dimasalang, laong laan, governor forbes and maria clara streets, ca. early 1970s; these days it is known to most people as "dangwa", manila's flower marketPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting
the old house in sampaloc (ca. 1928), as it stands today

03 September 2006

by way of music

an indonesian friend suddenly turned up at my office to say hello. though our offices are not too far away from each other, we hardly get to talk. these past few weeks, dissertation remains the top priority of seriously determined phd students. parties and night-outs are a big no-no if one has to consider the idea of finishing on time.

my friend later explained to me that since his wife and other family members had moved to sydney, he would normally find it very hard to sleep at night. it suddenly dawned on me that many of my friends here in canberra are actually insomniacs. indeed, some of us at coombs would stay up late just to beat our weekly deadlines.

before he left, my friend asked me how i ever get to put myself to sleep. i just told him that i usually sleep at four in the morning. then i would wake up seven hours later. i couldn’t seem to make an appropriate reply. so the question got me thinking the whole night.

suddenly, it became clearer to me that i often get to sleep peacefully because there’s music by my side. other than books and films, i’ve spent quite a fortune back home building up my music library. i have actually accumulated inconceivable stacks of cds, vinyl records and tapes. fortunately, more and more old records and tapes are being reissued these days as cds. so i get to play digitally remastered versions of recordings i had either lost, scratched or broken.

it would be difficult to put together a list of my favorite songs since i enjoy music from every imaginable era. but because i am a bit more stressed out with my dissertation writing, certain artists, songs, artists and/or albums have been tremendous sources of recharge and good cheer. they/these are:

kami nAPO muna tribute to the apo hiking society (various artists)
a chorus line original soundtrack especially “nothing” and “what i did for love”
soundtrack of lerner and leowe's my fair lady especially the film soundtrack containing both audrey hepburn's previously unheard of version and the songs dubbed by marni nixon

the metro manila popular music festival commemorative albums (1978-1985), especially:
· ryan cayabyab’s “kay ganda ng ating musika” by hajji alejandro (1978)
· nonoy gallardo’s “pagdating mo” by celeste legaspi (1978)
· nonong pedero’s “narito ako” by maricris bermont (1978)
· joel navarro’s “suwerte, suwerte lang” by joel navarro (1978)
· joe reyes’s “dampa sa gulod” bu Imelda papin (1978) –she sang this before she turned lacrimonious
· jose mari chan’s “minsan pa” by janet basco (1978)
· freddie aguilar’s “anak” by freddie aguilar (1978)
· charo unite’s “lupa” by rico puno (1979)
· bong gabriel’s “ang aking awitin” by bong gabriel (1979)
· chito sibayan’s “itay, saan ka man naroroon” by chito sibayan (1979)
· maria isabella mijares’s “masdan, tingnan ang buhay” by malou evidente (1979)
· butch monserrat and gryk ortaleza’s umagang kay ganda by Tillie moreno and ray-an fuentes (1979)
· celia lising’s “laging buhay ang buhay (1979), gloriously interpreted by jacqui mango
· louie ocampo’s “mahalaga” by rene puno (1980)
· nonong pedero’s “isang mundo, isang awit” by leah navarro (1980)
· jose mari chan’s “hahanapin ko” by anthony castelo (1980)
· gerry paraiso’s “kailangan ko, kailangan mo” by richard tan and bambi bonus (1980)
· freddie lozano “nandoon na, nawala pa” by ray-an fuentes(1980)
· topy lozano’s “ikaw, ako, tayo (magkakapatid)” by the new minstrels (1980)
· thomas santos’ “larawan” by joel navarro (1980)
· juan miguel salvador’s “magkaisa” by eugene villaruz (1981)
· conrado ricafort’s “hatinggabi” by boy camara (1981)
· elizabeth barcelona’s “sino ang baliw?” by mon del rosario (1981)
· gary granada’s “kahit konti” by florante (1981)
· gary granda’s “aawitin ko na lang” by bong gabriel (1981)
· gines tan’s “magsimula ka” by leo valdez (1981)
· butch monserrat and marilyn villapando’s “buhay pag-asa” by pol enriquez (1981)
· james villafuerte’s “landas” by marco sison (1981)
· freddie lozano’s “don’t deceive yourself” by susana pichay (1982)
· jun latonio and tillie moreno’s “nothing i want more” by eugene villaruz and ray-an fuentes (1982)
· venancio saturno’s “isang dakot” by sonia singson (1982)
· topy lozano’s “magkaibigan, nagkaibigan, nagkaibigan” by something special (1982)
· eddie nicolas and sonny nicolas’s “inay, bakit?” by sonny nicolas (1982)
· odette quesada’s “give me a chance” by ric segreto (1982)
· paul melendez’s “memories” by eileen espina (1982)

· venancio saturno’s “ako’y ako” by lerma de la cruz (1983)
· jun cerino's "laging mayroong bukas" (1983)
· butch monserrat’s “kagandahan” by filipina –a trio consisting nanette inventor, babsie molina and marian saenz (1983)
· boy katindig's “away from you” by jennifer ramos (1983)
· gary granada’s “salamat, salamat musika” by nanette inventor (1984)
· jun latonio’s “part of the way” by jacqui mango (1984)

agot isidro especially “sa isip ko”, “beginning today”, “everyday” and every song in "the island"
allison krauss especially “baby, now that i’ve found you"
antonio carlos jobim especially "aguas de marco"
apo hiking society's "tuyo nang damdamin"
aretha franklin’s “i say a little prayer” and “respect”

audrey hepburn's definitive version of "moon river"
astrud gilberto and stan getz's "girl from ipanema"
babyface especially “gone too soon”
bangels’ “eternal flame”
barbra streisand’s "people" and “the way we were”
barry manilow's "weekend in new england"
basil valdez’s “say that you love me”and "stars" featuring the background vocals of babsie molina
beach boys’ “kokomo” and “god only knows”
beatles’ “michelle” and “and i love her”
becca godinez's "shining"
better midler’s experience the divine cd especially “glory of love” and “shiver me timbers”
billie holiday’s “good morning heartache”, "night and day",“one for my baby (and one more for the road)”, “night and day”, “more than you know”, “the very thought of you”
billy joel’s “uptown girl”, “honesty”, "new york state of mind" and “she’s always a woman”
boldstar's "kumot at unan"
bond’s “victory”
bono’s “i’ve got you under my skin” with frank sinatra
bread’s “diary” and "aubrey"
brenda russell’s “piano in the dark” and “get here”
brenda starr’s “i still believe”
brian mcknight’s “one last cry”
captain and tennille especially “don’t forget me”
carla martinez's "changes" and "promises"
carly simon especially “nobody does it better”
carole king’s groundbreaking lp tapestry
carpenters especially “rainy days and mondays”, “superstar”, “ticket to ride”, "make believe it's your first time" and “goodbye to love”
cat stevens’ “father and son” and “how can i tell you?”
celeste legaspi's "tuliro"
chad borja’s “ikaw lang”
charlene's "never been to me" and "used to be", her duet with stevie wonder
chage and aska's "say yes"
charlotte church’s “sno-gan”
chiqui pineda's how did you know?"
the chiffons’ “one fine day”
cinderella's "bato sa buhangin" featuring yolly samson's vocals
claire de la fuente's "sayang"
climax’s “precious and few”
the company’s “muntik na kitang minahal”
the corrs’ “runaway”
cyndi lauper’s “time after time” and “true colors”
dan fogelberg’s “longer”
david benoit’s “here,there and everywhere”
david gates’ “goodbye girl”
david soul’s “don’t give up on us”
dennis lambert's "of all the things"
desiree’s “you gotta be”
dinah shore’s “stardust”
dionne warwick’s collaborations with burt bacharach and hal david especially “walk on by”, “i say a little prayer” and “do you know the way to san jose”
dolly parton’s “stairway to heaven”
don mclean’s “vincent”
donna summer’s “whispering waves”
doris day’s “secret love”
eagles especially “desperado”
ella fitzgerald especially “someone to watch over me”, "misty", “i can’t give you anything but love”, “tenderly”, “lullaby of birdland” and “one for my baby (and one more for the road)”
elton john’s “your song” and “we all fall in love sometimes”
elvis presley’s "love me tender"
eraserhead’s “ang huling el bimbo”, “alapaap” and “tuwing umuulan at kapiling ka”
the fifth dimension’s “(last night) i didn’t get to sleep at all”, "if i could reach you" and “up, up and away”
flippers'“di ako iiyak”
florante's "handog" and "pinay"
frank sinatra especially “as time goes by”, “the summer wind”, “ebraceable you” , “stardust” and duets lp especially his collaboration with bono “I’ve got you under my skin”
fred astaire’s “they can’t take that away from me"
"gary valenciano's "once upon a life"

the entire george canseco ngayon at kailanman (volumes 1 and 2) but especially
“kapantay ay langit” (pilita corrales)
“ngayon at kailanman” (basil valdez)
“kung ako’y iiwan mo” (basil valdez)
“kaibigan” (anthony castelo)
“kailangan kita” (leah navarro)
“yakap” (junior)
“”dear heart” (sharon cuneta) –mush; but this song reminds me so much of high school; couldn't believe canseco had actually composed it; i like the song largely because of the melody and the haunting arrangement
“dito ba?” (kuh ledesma)
“saan darating ang umaga” (raymond lauchengco)

gilbert o’ sullivan’s “alone again, naturally”
gladys knight and the pips especially “midnight train to georgia” and “neither one of us”
hale’s “the day you said goodbye”
helen reddy’s “you and me against the world”, “delta dawn”, “angie baby” and “until it’s time for you to go”
hotdog’s “panaginip”
imai miki's "miss you"
indigo girls’ “power of two”
iwi laurel’s “special memory”
jack wagner’s “too young”
jacqui magno's "capture the changes"
jam morales’ “even if”
james blunt’s “you’re beautiful”
jamie rivera’s “people alone” and “awit para sa ‘yo” – she’s also one of my good acquaintances from grade school and high school; she hasn't changed at all
janis ian especially “at seventeen” and “jesse”
jo stafford’s “no other love”
joan osborne’s “one of us”
joe cocker’s “you are so beautiful”
john denver’s “annie’s song”
jose mari chan’s “refrain” and “tell me your name”
jim photoglo’s “will of the wind”
jimmy web’s “macarthur’s park”
joni mitchell's "both sides now"
journey’s open arms
every joey albert lp/cd in sight but especially her 1st impressive self-titled debut with “tell me”, “say you’re mine” and “over and over”. i like joey's music because she always believed in filipino composers, instrumentalists and musical arrangers and she always has a filipino component in her projects. "say you're mine" should have been released as a single. it predated the rise of a philippine "acoustic" pop advocated by agot isidro in the 1990s and nina et. al. about a year ago.
juan de la cruz band's "himig natin"
judy garland’s “over the rainbow”
kathie green's "alone again and free"
kasey chambers' wayward angel especially "hollywood" and "like a river"
kim carnes' "bette davis eyes"
kuh ledesma’s impressive debut lp especially her rendition of canseco's “sana” and “wakas” along with "magbalik ka na mahal" by ryan cayabyab and bienvenido lumbera from the rock musical rama, hari; other lps are just as interesting. of these, the lush arrangement of “a long, long time ago” (from the lp just you, just me) haunts me severely. her collaborations with cecile azarcon are also outstanding (“one more try”, “help me forget”, “i cry”)
kyu sakamoto’s “sukiyaki”
lani hall's "save the sunlight" duet with herp albert and "how can i tell you"
lea salonga’s rendition of jose mari chan’s “hahanapin ko”
led zeppelin’s “stairway to heaven”
louie armstrong's "it's a wonderful world"
louie reyes' "me and you" and "it's time"
bellini’s "norma" by maria callas
madonna’s “take a bow” (with babyface), “this used to be my playground”, “another suitcase in another hall” and “you must love me”
the main ingredient's i just don't want to be lonely"
marcia hines’ “I don’t know how to love him”and "fire and rain"
maroon 5’s “she will be loved” and “this love”
martin nievera's "holiday" and gina tabuena godinez's wonderful composition "theme for lily"
mary wells’ “my guy”
maureen mcgovern's "very special love"
melissa manchester’s “midnight blue”, “don’t cry out loud” and “come in from the rain”
michael’s buble’s cover versions of “how can you mend a broken heart”, “summer wind” and “that’s all”
minnie ripperton's "loving you"
moonstar88's "panalangin"
natalie cole’s “someone that i used to love”, “starting all over again”, “inseparable”, "sentimental reasons/tenderly/autumn leaves medley" and “miss you like crazy”
new minstrels’ “i don’t love you anymore”
ne-yo’s “so sick”
neil sedaka's "laughter in the rain"
nina’s “i don’t want to be your friend”
nonoy zuniga’s “never ever say goodbye”
odyssey’s “native new yorker”
oleta adams’ “get here”
olivia newton-john’s “I honestly love you”, “have you ever been mellow”, “sam” and even her earlier country hits “if not for you", let me be there", her duet with sir cliff richard "suddenly" and her duet with andy gibb "i can't help it"
orange and lemons' "yakap sa dilim"
parokya ni edgar’s “harana”and "pumapatak na naman ang ulan"
patrick swayze’s “she’s like the wind”
pauline wilson's "follow your road
peter allen’s “fly away”, “i go to rio”, “i still call australia home”, “you and me (we wanted it all)” and “don’t cry out loud”
peter gabriel’s “strawberry fields forever”
peter, paul and mary’s “leaving on the jetplane”
petula clark’s “downtown” and a memory of her live performance as norma desmond in the west end production of sunset boulevard
phil collins’s against all odds”, “separate lives” and “true colors”
pilita corrales’ australian recordings (1958-1962) especially “flamenco” and ”secret love”; filipinos should rediscover her recording achievements
rachel alejandro’s “paalam na” and “kay tagal”
randy crawford’s “people alone” and “one hello”
rico puno’s adaptation of “the way we were”
rob thomas’ “lonely no more”
ronan keating's "when you say nothing at all"
robert klein’s “fallin”
roberta flack’s “maybe” (with peabo bryson), janis ian's “jesse”and her collaboration with sadao watanabe, "here's to love"
rod stewart’s great american songbook series
ruby and the romantics’ “our day will come”
rupert holmes’ “terminal”, "escape" and "touch and go"
ryan cayabyab’s groundbreaking lp one
samantha sang’s “emotion”
seals and crofts’ “first love” and “summer breeze”
louie ocampo's “hagkan” by sharon cuneta
shelby flint’s “someone’s waiting for you”
sergio mendes’ “bridges”, “like a lover” and “the trouble with hello is goodbye”
shirelles “please mr. postman” and “will you still love me tomorrow?”
shirley bassey’s “who can I turn to?”, “as long as he needs me” and “what kind of fool am i?"
simon and garfunkel’s “scarborough fair” and “the sound of silence”
sinead o’ conner’s “bewitched, bothered and bewildered” and "secret love"
sitti navarro's cafe bossa cd; i knew her from her u.p. econ days so im thrilled to hear that her singing career is currently on a high
smokey mountain’s “mama”
spandau ballet’s “gold”
sponge cola's "nakapagtataka"
stevie wonder’s “lately”
sting's “someone to watch over me” and “every breath you take” (with the police)
stylistics' "you'll never get to heaven" and "you make me feel brand new"
the supremes especially “i hear a symphony” and “you can’t hurry love”
sugarfree's "batangbata ka pa"
tammy tarrell and marvin gaye’s “ain’t no mountain high enough”
tavares' "hardcore poetry"
the three degrees’ “when will i see you again”
toni braxton and babyface’s “how can an angel break my heart”
tony bennett’s “the way you look tonight”
top suzara's "anna"
true faith’s “perfect”
usher’s “superstar”
vernie varga’s “take five”, “love me again” and “kahit isang saglit”
vonda shepherd’s “alone again, naturally”
williams brothers’ “can’t cry hard enough”
willy cruz’s “kahit na” by zsa zsa padilla

my mother used to say that when i was still inside her tummy, i would kick her a lot. she couldn't get herself to sleep and she would experience heaps of discomfort. but whenever she turns on the radio, the kicking would suddenly stop. then after giving birth, she would discover that i can be left alone inside a crib or playpen without crying. but in all circumstances, songs would have to be played along.

since then, i have always been sleeping with music turned on.

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1st metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1978)

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2nd metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1979)

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3rd metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1980)

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4th metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1981)

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5th metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1982)

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6th metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1983)

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7th metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1984)

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8th metro manila popular music festival (metro pop 1985)

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pilita's i'll take romance

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this is pilita

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george canseco's ngayon at kailanman

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joey albert

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sound track of richard attenborough's film version of a chorus line

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roberta flack

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helen reddy

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doris day

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charlotte church

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bette midler

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billie holiday

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ella fitzgerald

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kami nAPO muna (various artists)

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sitti's cafe bossa