This One Solitary Life

So I haven’t posted here in almost six months. Hello, blog is still alive, just a lot neglected. But since it’s already December – and almost Christmas – I figured it’s time for a post.

Not a long post, because I am usually reserving that for the days leading to the New Year. For today, I don’t have much to say, except that I’m sure we all need the joy and peace and love that we can this Christmas because 2016 has been throwing a lot of punches and curve balls at everyone, especially in the last months. It’s easy to forget all the good things that happened when all we see are the bad, and we forget to be thankful for what we have. During one of the dawn masses I attended, one of the priests said, We complain when we don’t get what we pray for, but we forget to thank God for the tragedies He has spared us from. So powerful.

So in this last few days of 2016, I’m resolving to be more grateful for what this year has been – both good and bad – in preparation for 2017. :)

But first, Christmas. Check out this video from Lifeteen, to remind us of the person Christmas is about — “…the one person, one life that changed the world.”

Merry Christmas, friends. ♥

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)

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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

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