Queen for Seven Days posters

PhilPop: Shifting the Tides of OPM

Thanks to PhilPop, an annual songwriting competition, Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is on the rise. Often Filipinos are enamored by mainstream American music to the point that they’ve idolized the singers and focused on imitating their styles. That trend seems to be changing in recent years. It has been awhile since I’ve listened to Tagalog songs that really sparked my interest. Many Filipino songs tend to be about romantic love – the ups and downs of it, the joys of being in love or the depression that hits when one is brokenhearted. It feels as though we’ve covered all aspects of love by now. Thankfully, even if some of the PhilPop songs are about love, all of the finalists, especially the PhilPop winners’ compositions, have shown the range of emotions that can be expressed through music and the creativity of Filipino artists.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Gardens of the Future

DSCN6750Gardens have a unique ability to ignite the imagination, balance the relationship between humans and nature, and calm the senses in urbanized settings. When I walked through the botanical gardens and the famous Gardens by the Bay, I couldn’t help but believe in and be impressed by Singapore’s vision to become a city in a garden. Our increasing awareness of the negative effects of climate change should encourage us to make more conscious efforts to preserve and reinvigorate the Earth’s natural beauty and healing powers. In a world that is reliant on technology and man-made structures, gardens provide a necessary respite and reminder of a home that we all lost. Continue reading “Gardens of the Future”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Spring Beginnings and Lyrical Inspiration

flower show Philly 2013

As the dryness of winter slowly fades and spring unabashedly marches in, the world continues to metamorphose in unexpected ways. Spring is considered the season of beginnings. It is a season when we reinvigorate and refocus to respond to the possibilities that this new quarter will bring.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Bunraku and Lion King; Puppetry and Reality

The Lion King is one of the most successful musicals in recent history. As of 2015, 80 million people have seen the musical throughout 6 continents. It continues to run on Broadway, West End, Hamburg, and Tokyo and shows no sign of stopping. The “Circle of Life” lives on as each generation experiences the artistry and coming-of-age story.

No doubt that the magic of puppetry contributes to the ongoing success of The Lion King. According to Julie Taymor, the musical’s director and costume designer, Ningyou joururi (人形浄瑠璃)or Bunraku (文楽), Japanese puppet theater, served as an inspiration for the puppets’ designs. Puppets are fascinating pieces of art. We (humans) know that they are inanimate objects and have no life, but when a person moves them, they begin to reflect human behavior, expressions, and speech. They are given a breath of life. Continue reading “Bunraku and Lion King; Puppetry and Reality”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Allegiance, Family, and History

What’s past is past but it’s not the last

We’re not alive to just remember.

When life has said to you:

Not a chance, but two.

Life has granted you a second chance.

[Music and lyrics by Jay Kuo]

Truly “we’re not alive to just remember,” yet we remember in order to extract meaning and lessons from the past. I found out about Allegiance back in 2010 when I heard the song “Second Chances” sung by Lea Salonga. Being a fan of musicals, I wanted to see the show in person. Thankfully, I got a chance to see Allegiance on Broadway in October 2015. I enjoyed the performance and I assume many of the audience members around me did as well based on the laughter and tears that they shed. I must say that Michael K. Lee’s portrayal of his character Frankie was the standout for me.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Poem: Reminisce

Since it is Valentine’s Day, here is a poem (or as I prefer to call it, thoughts on a page) that combines the theme of memories and love. I wrote this in May 2014 while I was listening to “Memory,” a track from the OST of Emma: A Victorian Romance. The painting is called The Ball or An Elegant Soiree by Victor Gabriel Gilbert.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.