Let The Music Play

(Image credit.)

And it’s time for the mid-year playlist, aka the 2015 EP! It’s kind of crazy how it’s already July, isn’t it? The first half of 2015 has been something, really, and sometimes I get a bit frightened that everything’s whizzing by, and I don’t get to enjoy every moment that I get to live this year. Do you feel that, too? Like the days just blend into each other? 

I’m writing this post not just to share a song list, but as a reminder for me to take it slow, sometimes. I think, as we grow older, we should learn to start picking what’s worth our time, what’s worth our attention. It can be picking which friends to meet, what things to do, and even what food to eat so your body will take care of you as you take care of it. I haven’t quite mastered that, but I want to learn that, before 2015 ends. (Because hello, I’m almost 30.)

So here’s the first half of 2015, in 7 songs.

(Title credit: Let The Music Play by Chris August)

1. Tell The World of His Love by Trina Belamide

Let us tell the world of His love
The greatest Love the world has known
Search the world for those who have walked astray
And lead them home

The start of 2015 was highlighted by one event: Pope Francis’ Papal Visit to the Philippines. I still haven’t written about this, I know, but this was the most perfect start of my year. It was like a World Youth Day experience at my home city, but I was behind the scenes – writing articles,  doing interviews, losing sleep, and walking in the rain just to be with the Vicar of Christ. What an exhausting weekend, but I will do it all over again. This song is not the official song of the Papal Visit, but this was sung over and over again during the visit, and I kept on crying to this song. That weekend, and this song, was a reminder of how blessed I was to be a part of the Catholic Church, and that I would do anything for His love.

2. Stockholm Syndrome by One Direction

Oh, baby, look what you’ve done to me
Oh, baby, look what you’ve done now

I heard that One Direction was going here last year, but of course I didn’t try to get tickets because everything’s crazy there. Then they opened another night, and one day while I was at Mall of Asia Arena, I sent a text to my friend Grace, and ten minutes later, we have tickets to their second night’s show. It was my birthday concert, and it was absolutely worth it. The rain, the cold was sort of forgotten because the boys (4/5 of them, anyway, because Zayn hasn’t quit the group yet) were amazing. 

Yes, I’m a Directioner, and I am not ashamed. :P

3. Tuloy Pa Rin by Flip Music All Stars

Para lang nawala ang dala dala kong payong
Mauulanan pero muling makakasilong

My friend Alona played this song while we were hanging out at the beach that night at La Union, the birthday beach trip that we had been planning for years (long story why it only happened now). This song was already included in my 2013 playlist, but this version is really cute, plus the rap at the bridge was a nice touch. This is still such a feel-good song, and it’s part of my next novel’s playlist. :)

4. Undeniably You by Avalon

It’s unbelievable, all the things that You do
It’s unexplainable, how Your love pulls me through
And I can’t question, the one thing I’ve found to be true
It’s undeniably You

I loved Avalon when I was in college, but I kind of stopped listening to them for a while. Thanks to Spotify, I found them again, and realized that I actually still know most of their songs. This song is sort of a hidden gem from the album that I really loved, and I found myself humming this truth over and over again in the next days.

5. Set It Off by J. Williams

In this club
Feeling good
We here to set it off

I’m trying to dance more again, now that I actually had time from work, and I loved it so much that I decided to build a Dance Dance Dance playlist. I found a  bunch of Body Jam playlists in Spotify and started hunting for my favorite tracks. This is one of my favorite tracks ever from an old mix, and I love, love, love dancing to this.

6. Lunatic by Andy Grammer

You can do this, you can do this
You are not a lunatic
Crazy would be changing your mind
You can do this, you can do this
You are not a lunatic
Crazy would be leaving it behind

Ah, Andy Grammer. Such a feel-good artist. ♥ I love this entire first album, but this song had me singing and humming it over and over again. It’s such a nice song, too, with doing what is closest to your heart. This song also makes it into one of my future novel’s soundtracks. :)

7. Level Up by Vienna Teng

call it any name you need.
call it your 2.0, your rebirth, whatever –
so long as you can feel it all,
so long as all your doors are flung wide.
call it your day #1 in the rest of forever.

This is actually a song from 2014 that I forgot to include in my 2014 soundtrack.  A friend sent me this song, and I had this on repeat especially when I changed roles at work and faced several difficult challenges. This song still applies now, especially since I started the year with a new job with bigger responsibilities, and also because there’s so many new things in 2015 that requires me to step up and be more. It’s scary exciting, but what’s life without a bit of that? :)

* * *

Based on my last.fm listening history, I realized that I’ve been stuck with my novel playlists for a while. So for the next half of 2015, I want to discover new artists and songs – so here: recommend new artists and songs, please? :)

Here’s to the 2nd half of 2015! :)

2014 Mixtape

So I meant to write this annual mix tape post last 12-13-14, but again, work and other things ate up my time. That has been my constant excuse in the latter half of the year, but I hope that that will change as the year turns. Since I do not want to break tradition, I told myself I’d write a post during the holiday break, so I wrote some songs in my notebook…

…and found that I actually had a hard time filling up the 14 slots for this year.

It’s not that I had so many songs. It’s really more that I didn’t really have a lot of songs to choose from because I realized that I didn’t listen to so many songs this year because I was so busy. Too busy.

So annoying.

But I still made it, anyway – much thanks to my last.fm account for keeping track of all my music. Then I realized how different this year’s mixtape will be from 2013 and 2012…but it’s okay. It’s the good kind of different. :) I’ve been thinking of putting one together for my father for his birthday. Last year I got him some cool gadgets and he was really happy, CLICK HERE to see where I got them. Still working on his mix tape though, but may post it later this week!

1. Delight by Robin Nievera

Things could change or rearrange
But I will delight in Your song

I wanted to include this in my half-year soundtrack, but I realized this fits better at the end of the year because the title of the song is my word of the year. :) I heard this during the Jars of Clay concert last year and I liked it a lot, and I listened to it over and over again back then, especially during the hard moments. I realized that I didn’t really listen to this recently, so I played it again as I was writing this and I smiled because yeah, I will delight in Your song. :)

2. Sink My Feet by Jillian Edwards

I wanna sink my feet down in security
Unmoved by changing tides and
Shadow shifting lines
Then I’d see the stars, see the sun
And I’d see all that has been done

This song, like Audrey Assad’s Good to Me, came at the right time this year. It was the time when I was experiencing several changes in my life, coming from the things that happened in the previous year. There were so many things at this time in this year that was hard that I knew all I had to do was to sink my feet in His grace, because of all that He has done. :) This song still calms me down whenever I hear it.

(more…)

All These Things (1)

I meant to blog more before July ended (because that last post can get a bit too maudlin, right? Also, I haven’t used the word maudlin in ages), but alas, work, a typhoon, several SFC events, and sickness got in the way. Before I knew it, the month was over and we’re well into August, and I…well, look, we’re in August.

I realized something recently, though, in my new-ish job (can’t believe that I’ve only been here for less than 3 months – feels like forever already): the more you do something, the better you get at it. I mean, okay fine, I know that already, but being in this new role proved it. I haven’t done any major designing stuff since 2008, 2009. Now that one of my job functions is to design ads for work, I have been stretched in an interesting way and I find that it is getting easier for me to be more creative in making ads.  I am learning to use Adobe Illustrator more now, and I am really liking vectors. And I have used the Pen tool properly! How about that. Excuse me for being a noob, but it’s all so fascinating. (And to think I used to say I was a graphic designer. Heh.)

Then I realized how much that principle also applied to other things, particularly, writing. I admit that being so busy in all this newness has stopped me from writing – here, in my book blog, and even creatively – and I missed that. But if I can get better in designing because I do it everyday, then I would get better at writing if I do it everyday regularly more often than I do now.

Like I said, nothing new there. But indulge me a bit.

To put that in action, I am starting this little, semi-regular thing called All These Things. Because I don’t always have to write about oh-so-serious stuff – sometimes, I just really need to write. So let’s start.

If there’s an award for a song that has given me the most massive case of LSS, this would win. I heard it in my friend’s car last week and I have been playing it all week. I haven’t played it today yet, but I bet later I would play it and sing it and I don’t know if it would end anytime soon.  And there, I just played it again.

I just finished reading Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, upon recommendation of a friend. I liked it, but I have very mixed feelings about that ending.

mebeforeyou

But this is not a review, so I won’t talk about that. There’s this line from the book that I want to print out and frame so I would remember it everyday:

Some mistakes…just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let that […] be the thing that defines you.

Book season is starting in the Philippines. Book season = time for sales, book fairs, and reader conferences. And just this week, we kicked off the 3rd Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. Nominations are now open! Nominate your favorite 2013-published book by a Filipino author. There are thirteen new categories! :D

I’ve had my gym membership frozen since March because I wasn’t going there anyway. I’ve been contemplating on having it cut because I haven’t been using it as much. I forgot to have the freeze extended, so I got billed for August. I decided to use it again and went back for a dance class yesterday. I forgot how fun it was. And how much I missed dancing. :) This little fella dances way better than me, though:

Baby-dancing-Groot

One of my new favorite bloggers, Hannah Brencher,1 wrote this post a couple of weeks ago. I keep going back to it because…because:

And while I’m not an expert or a ghost buster, I think a ghost gets born out of a constant wish that maybe you and another person might have more to say to each other. Like maybe you never reached the point of finally saying everything. And maybe, just maybe, if you can manage to keep a person in your orbit or your memory a little while longer then you’ll never have to face the real truth: you can’t fix everything.

So many powerful words in this post that I can’t pick. But what she said about having final words, about how “Final words shift the atmosphere” give me hope. And it reminds me of this quote from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi:

So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Maybe all I really need are those words.

* * *

Have a great weekend, everyone. :)

** Featured image credit

  1. Hannah, who actually inspired me to come up with this thing with her Field Notes feature []