sing

Sing it with your hands in the sky

When 2016 started, I decided to create a playlist on Spotify called 2016 (heh). It’s mainly to keep track of the new songs I discovered this year, and also a way to make it easier for me to make playlists like this. Because look at that, it’s July already, and we’re halfway through the year, yadda yadda yadda <insert minor freak out here>.

Oh, and did I ever mention that I love Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist? Or that I love Spotify, period?

Truth be told, I almost forgot about making this list, if not for Timehop reminding me that I’ve been doing this for the past three years. Let’s not break the streak, and let’s not forget this blog exists, right? So here are 8 songs for the first half of 2016. 

1. Bawat Daan by Ebe Dancel

Kung puso ko ay imamapa
Ikaw ang dulo, gitna, at simula
Nahanap din kita

I got into Ebe Dancel again thanks to Heneral Luna, so I spent quite some time listening to his solo album on Spotify. I loved Sugarfree, his former band, back in college, so it was quite nostalgic listening to his songs. I love, love, love this one, and I would’ve put this in the final year soundtrack but I want to feature it now because I don’t want to forget it later. I really, really want to watch him perform this live one of these days.

2.Rejoice & Pray by Ablaze Music

Never be afraid of anything
Just pray and keep the faith

I honestly didn’t think I’ll get the ~feel~ of this song when I heard it first, but there was a particular time at the start of the year when I heard this and caught that lyric, and I smiled because it felt like a reminder to keep on writing my next book. This is one of my favorite pick-me-up songs now. :)

3. 3 Stars and a Sun by FrancisM

I’m ready to defend the 3 stars and a sun!

This song is brought to you by PETA’s 3 Stars and a Sun, which I watched with #romanceclass friends early this year. Talk about a very, very intense play, from the very beginning up to the very end. It became a lot relevant later on, too, especially during the Philippine elections. It’s probably the first time I felt super emotional on some political things. My favorite part of this song, really, is the start, where someone is narrating the story of Honorio Punongbayan:  But the most important thing they shared was a ferocious love of freedom. Hay Pilipinas kong mahal.

4. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching by The Natural

She see me like a Freddy Prinze
so I’ma treat her like she’s all that, yeah

This is the first song I really liked when I discovered Discover Weekly on Spotify. Hee. I haven’t danced for so long (not the kind of classes I used to take, anyway), but this one just makes me want to dance again.

5. Pagsuko by Jireh Lim

Ikaw at ako ay alaala na lang kung susuko ka na

Another Discover Weekly discovery that just screamed my character Faith’s name over and over again when I first heard it. This always makes me feel so melancholic even if I couldn’t relate to this at all. Thanks for the feels. :P

6. Forgetting You by Nathan Angelo

I’m forgetting the way you moved
The way I felt
I’m forgetting the time we spent
All by ourselves
Cause it’s too late to try to change your mind
And there’s nothing else I can do
I’m forgetting you

Nathan Angelo is a new to me artist that sounded familiar, like the other singer-songwriters that I follow. I chanced upon this song randomly and I liked it on first listen. Kind of melancholic, just like song # 5, and also maybe a book # 2 song. I’m quite happy that I can’t relate to this. :P

7. Autopilot by Reese Lansangan

You’re more than I imagined
And I’m shaking my head, girl you did good
My eyes are screaming “Just take my hand”
I’m staring you down so hard

I first heard Reese when I attended Marla’s event, Letters Out Loud, almost four years ago (!!!). I followed her online and was really pleased to find out that her debut album is on Spotify, too! I liked everything there, but this one stood out because of that beat and because I realized this is a Fall Like Rain song. Hihi. I kind of miss the feeling that this song is trying to say, hee.

8. Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Oh, Alexander Hamilton
When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh

If you haven’t heard of Hamilton yet, stop reading this post and listen to the entire cast recording right now! I’ve seen people talk about Hamilton: An American Musical all over my social media feeds but it took a while for me to get into it. When I finally did — oh my stars, what a nerdy, fun, and heartbreaking ride. I listen to the whole recording over and over again and I discover something new every time. (Or when I don’t, I just learn how to rap it better. :p)

* * *

How many times did I say “Spotify” in this post? I didn’t mean to. Or maybe I did. Any songs you liked in the past 6 months? Share them in the comments. :)

* Featured image (c) Rawpixel

time

The Slow Work of God

This blog is still alive. Hi.

I have some drafts waiting to be finished and posted, but as always, I find myself a bit unsure if I should share them. Like they’re still quite unfinished and the thoughts were all over the place.

(That, and I’m also working hard with releasing a new short story, and revising my next book. :) )

I’ve been restless lately, though. It could be I’m just having a bit of difficulty being grateful for what I have because it’s far easier to complain or resist. Sometimes I wake up with a lot of anxiety for my day and then I go through it wishing it’s over so I can go back to what I want to do.

But the Lord says, be patient. Be patient because He’s working. Be patient because He’s faithful. I admit that I’m not the most patient person in the world and sometimes waiting is painful (and boring) but right now it’s what He’s asking, and I’m trying my best to do just that.

So we’re talking about patience, and I ran into this today while reading Fr. James Martin, SJ’s The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything over breakfast. I needed to read this over and over, so I thought I’d share it on the blog, too – in case you need it, too. (Emphasis is mine, btw)

That, and I wanted to say that this blog is still alive. :)

Patient Trust
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ excerpted from Hearts on Fire

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

(source)

* Featured image by Monoar Rahman from Stocksnap.io

hello30

Thirty

I turned 30 yesterday.

To be honest, it didn’t seem that much of a big deal now that I got there, not unlike how I was freaking out back when I turned 29. Maybe it was the anticipation of it that made me freak out, which proved that sometimes we really do over think things when it’s not so scary after all.

But it still felt a little bit surreal now that I’m officially in another decade of my life. I’m trying to remember if I had saved any blog post ten years ago, in 2006, when I turned 20. I was still in college, then, and if I remember correctly, I was in school, to do a project and to attend a YFC event. I remember that I wanted to be surprised, then, because I have never experienced a birthday surprise. I think I got pretty disappointed after, because I didn’t get what I wanted, and then that night, it felt like God was teaching me a very important lesson on humility.

It’s kind of hard to believe that those things happened ten years ago. That’s such a short time in the existence of the universe, but a long one in a lifetime of a person. In the past ten years, I have…

Graduated from college. Got my first job. Joined SFC. Switched jobs, twice. Disappeared from SFC, and went back. Joined a book club. Head the NaNoWriMo group. Organized conferences. Attended conferences. Lost a phone. Killed my phone with saltwater. Attended n weddings. Attended n christenings. Survived a major flood. Earned lots of money. Spent lots of money. Traveled to Davao, Subic, Camarines Sur, Quezon. Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Prinsesa, Cebu, Coron, El Nido, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Camarines Norte, Pangasinan, Pampanga, La Union, Baguio, Zambales, Aklan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Spain,  Switzerland, Austria, France, Guam, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia. Saw two Popes. Slept outside with more than a million people. Danced in the rain. Consumed lots of sweets and alcohol. Baked my heart out. Gained weight, lost weight, gained it again. Trekked to a volcano. Shared onstage at a CFC event. Taught kids how to read. Wrote several stories. Published a book. Became a sister-in-law. Became an aunt. Lost touch with friends. Made awesome new friends. Said yes. Said no. Fell in like. Got disenchanted. Fell in love. Got my heart broken. Forgave. Forgiven. Learned that I am loved all along.

I wonder what the next ten years will bring?

* * *

 

I like that my birthday comes so close to the New Year, so it feels as if I had another chance of a new year after whatever mess-ups or whatever I missed in the first two months and 16 days of the year. So I take the time to pray more and to listen harder, in case I haven’t been listening enough before.

And He never fails to tell me something, too. Last year, it was all about being a source of life. I can’t really tell if I was able to do that, save for some moments when I was the sane one during times of distress at work. The other year, it was a full life that runs over. The year before that, was about “…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” (This was super fitting, by the way.)

I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant,to be God to you and to your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:7-8)

The word faithfulness echoed all throughout my prayer time yesterday morning. The assurance of it made me smile – it was as if God was already setting the tone of my 30th year, reminding me that just as He has been faithful in my 20’s, He’s definitely going to be faithful in my 30’s, too.

And all I needed to do was to let Him love me.

Pretty mind blowing when I think about it.

So that’s what I’m going to try to remember in this thirtieth year of existence, my fourth decade in this world and all that. I have this tendency to forget, I know, but I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to keep on praying, so I may keep remembering God’s goodness in my life, and in the life of the people around me. :)

Remember His wonders which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth. (Psalm 105:5)

Cheers to 30! :)