Tamarind and Thyme

Mmmm… cake. I was very much on a baking kick a couple weeks ago, the result being that we gain weight and the blog gains a few recipes. When I went to our local market one Saturday, as soon as I laid my eyes on these fat, glossy, juicy blackberries, I knew they’d end up in a cake. Of course, then Blai asked if they were the same berry that we ate off a wild bush on a recent bicycle ride. Yes, doh! I could’ve just ridden up there and picked some wild blackberries; if you have access to a wild bush, pick them there!

Slice of Cake

Coffee cake was what I had in mind – and no, there’s no coffee in it; instead it’s a snack cake meant to be eaten while having coffee. Confused? Yes, why can’t it just be called cake?! Or snack cake? Quite often, they have a…

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Tonio Balanquit, Jr, be at peace

This post is in memory of my batchmate in high school, Antonio Jazmin Balanquit, Jr.

I often hear my other batchmates from high school call or refer to him as “Tonio”, “Tonyo”, or just “Balanquit”. 

 I remember how some would claim that he was the long-lost brother of one of our classmates, due to the resemblance. 

 I also knew in Junior year he was a COCC, is a year-long training for students who aspire to become CAT, citizens’ army training, officers in Senior year.  Having successfully fulfilled the requirements, he eventually became an officer in Senior.

I remember him for the intense expression on his face; a sign of a deep intellect within.  I heard he was very eloquent, both verbally and in writing.  I would not be surprised.

But that is all I knew of him. 

Still, when I learned of his passing, I felt a pang of sadness inside.  Someone so young, with a lot of promise in store, expired and moved on to join our Creator.  It was his time, we would all rationalize.  Still, I remember the lines in the movie “The Hours”, when Virginia Wolf decided that a character in her novel “Mrs. Dalloway” will kill him/herself.  When asked why, she replied “Someone has to die, so that others may realize the value of living”. 

And whenever I hear of someone’s passing, it saddens me more each time.

To my schoolmate and batchmate, be at peace and may God be with you.

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We’ve Only Just Begun…

As I sift through my usual routine at work, my colleage is currently playing Andy Williams’ version of “We’ve Only Just Begun.”; and since then I started to  suffer from Last-Song-Syndrome, also known as LSS. 

As I listened to the music, it reminded me of my childhood.  Growing up in a household surrounded by adults, I was exposed at an early age to adult tastes, concerns, even music.  Hearing Andy Williams’ song playing on the background after constantly hearing Lady Gaga, Black Eyed, what have you, it instantly brought back memories of weekends at our household.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I admire a great deal of the artists in this decade, but they didn’t call the oldies-but-goodies for nothing. 

During weekends, my folks would dig their favorite LPs (yes, we still have them), and play the LP of their favorite artist, LP, song, or whatever tickles their fancy on that particular day.  The playlist would consist of artists such as Burt Bacharach, Johnny Matthis, Barbra  Streisand, Frank Sinatra, the BeeGees, The Cascades, Paul Anka, Andy Williams, among many others.   Sometimes, they would also listen to soundtrack of classic musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of  Music (who doesn’t have this in their DVD or LP collection!), and some broadway musicals as well.  Up to this time, I still know the words of “On My Own”, sang by Eponine in the broadway play Les Miserables, as well as “I Dreamed A Dream”.  Speaking of the latter, it always breaks my heart whenever I listen to that song.  You can feel the disappointment, nostalgia, pain, in Fantine’s voice as she lets out the lyrics of the music.  I’m starting to get a little carried away now, but I truly like the lyricism of the music of the older generation and music of this genre.   Back to the song “We’ve Only Just Begun”, the covers I am familiar with are those rendered by The Carpenters, Neil Sedaka (or is it?).  Regardless which version it was, I kind of miss the kind of song writing of the oldies.  Not all though, but the thing I miss the most is it’s lyricism; the simplicity of words, emotions, and meaning.  As I reflect on it, the kind of music of yesteryears was just the beginning of how it is to be in present times.  The song may not have be the deciding factor on how music would turn out today, but it has become a classic.  And nothing beats a classic.

Even if the genre did not seem to fit the music kids my age listen to at that time, I considered it lively, entertaining, and  somehow, influenced on how I view lyricism in music and how to articulate one’s self with words.  Aside from the books I read when I was a kid, music played a great role in shaping how I perceived the written word and world.  Going back to the music stuff,  I found myself humming tunes and my classmates would just look at me and think, “what in the world is that?”.   Though I was also abreast with the latest tunes , I found that I tend to lean towards the oldies’ and revert back it as my comfort zone.

Back to the song “We’ve Only Just Begun” and on the topic of lyricism, looking at it from this decade, the lyrics sounds a bit cheesy. Too cheesy, sometimes, but it is in the simplicity of the words, the way songwriters combined words, is what distinguished the songs of yesteryears from today. Though the themes of the songs are still same, the way it was expressed and how it was written is what changed. At the same time, since music nowadays is a production event in itself (with lots of background effects and all that), you get drowned with these hulla-balloos rather than concentrate on the lyrics. But I can understand: with all these artists abound, artists have to find a way to stand out.

Anyhow, we’ve only just begun paved the way to the start of how music and songwriting evolved. In our tastes as listeners and to keeping abreast with the trends. Still, I believe it boils down to what gives you comfort at the end of the day; calms you on a rainy day; and brings back childhood memories spent with family and loved-ones. And when I remember my childhood, “It’s Yesterday Once More”. 🙂

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I dedicate this blog to a good friend of mine.  Let’s just refer to this person as M.  I have tons to write about M, and one blog may not be adequate.  But I’ve finally decided to dedicate a blog for M. 

We know how fond we are of remembering events, details of our lives, but when I remember the times I spent with him, I’m slowly mixing and mashing some of the details that it results to a totally different memory altogether.  Still the same content, but just some differences in the location, time, and other minor details.  Albeit minor, but it is these small details that makes every moment special and memorable.  Proud as I am of my memory, but lately, she needs a bit of an aid to remember. 🙂

This will be a first of many blogs I will enter/post about M.  I should just need to find the time to put write them all, as far as I can remember everything.

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1 day ’til arrival

Well, technically speaking, it’s 2, since she will arrive on 16 March 2011 midnight. 

I’m talking about my mom.  She’s coming over. 🙂

I am excited!  Though I saw my mom last February when I had my vacation in Manila, still, a familiar face is always a welcome treat.  And it’s my mom! 

Although my mom visited in Bejiing in 2004, I told her she should re-explore the place again.  Though the sights are still the same, i.e. Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and so on, but there have been a lot of changes ever since China hosted the Olympics in 2008.  I wish I could’ve seen how and what it was like in the 70s or even the 80s.  I am only speaking in comparison to what my mom’s experience when she travelled here 7 years ago, and during my stay here as a student in 2007.  Knowing China, a lot can change even in the span of 6 months, what more 7 years. 

Anyhow, I am supposed to write a report (which I’ve been trying to do for the past weeks or so).  I have the draft ready, but my mind is clearly drifting, drifting, and drifting away…..

I am excited.  Now, time to hit my vacuum cleaner and tidy up the house again. 😉

Carpe Diem!

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Here I am

Just signed in to my account here at WordPress. Still have my blogspot account, but decided to move in the WordPress neighborhood.

Have to be more religious in my entries. I haven’t been consistent, but I sure will try.

Looking forward to blogging away. 🙂

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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