Defying 40: Playlist


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After being put on hold during the holidays, my Defying 40 project is back on track, with my friends contributing creative ideas.

I wish to collaborate with as many artist-friends as possible. Any combination is more than welcome! Piano and guitar. Poetry and music. Dance and song. Video and music. Talk and humor. Photography and poetry. Paintings and calligraphy. Big band and singing voices. A capella and choir music.

I don’t have the money to finance this yet. I don’t have a venue, which has to have a stage, a space for a baby grand piano and (by the way) a band, and a dance floor. Obviously I only have big dreams at this point.  But that’s all right. I have seven months to pull this off. 🙂

I like the dream stage because right now, anything is possible! So I’m creating a playlist. The current mix is so Ella. Classical music, show tunes, movie soundtracks, Original Pilipino Music (OPM para tagos sa puso), choral music, ’80s music, Manila sound. Now how do I gather all the people I want to see and perform, and ask them to practice with me?

I’m still conflicted whether to open the night with “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” “Salamat Musika” or “Magandang Gabi,” or a piano piece that no one but me will understand. Or something else entirely. Like a dance number with my talented friends.

To have my friends – and family (ooh I have artists and musicians in the family) let their hair down, sing, dance, spin, twirl, jump, fly, and have a grand time is my goal. I wish this dream would come true!  But even now, I’m already having so much fun planning it.

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Defying Forty: A Showcase of Talents


A Piano

I launched an idea last weekend to some friends to see if they were in. I wanted to have a show where my friends and I could share the talents that God gave us, especially for those who had pursued different professions but were amazingly gifted. I wanted to defy aging and to show how talented every person is! I knew that those who would embark on this project with me would experience a greater connectedness with their own souls and find joy in expressing themselves through art.

In less than 24 hours, I got the following confirmed contributions:

  • A poem
  • Calligraphy for invites, souvenirs, etc.
  • A glass painting
  • Acrylic on canvas painting
  • A song/video collaboration
  • A standup comedy/ musical performance
  • Help with script and hosting
  • A dance number. Make that two dance numbers!
  • A TED-inspired talk
  • A piano solo

Others are still mulling about what to contribute to the project, and are warming up to the idea. Most of these friends need  just a little push to expose their hidden talents again.

I want to show that people in their 40s are cool and that they were not born grownups. This is me meeting my 40th birthday with a bang. Of course, friends have said that I was the only person they knew who could pull this off. I surely hope we pull it off!

I am still cooking up related ideas to this project, in terms of focus and purpose, but already I am excited and looking forward to working on it during my spare time. 😉

Watch this space.

U2 360º: One Elevating Concert


I never thought I would one day be watching a concert by that Irish rock band U2 in a stadium with a seating capacity of 80,000 people. But that’s what I found myself doing last Tuesday here in Sydney.

I learned that the U2 360º tour will land in Sydney around the same time that I will be vacationing here with my family. So months before my trip, I got in touch with some friends who would want to watch with me. My schedule matched with a very good friend from law school and we excitedly booked our tickets.

I grew up listening to U2 because of my brothers. Later on my nephews picked up the band’s songs, thus making them family favorites. So while I was inside ANZ stadium with tens of thousands of people, I wished my family could watch the concert too.

The stage was jaw-dropping. It was a space ship with giant claws and a riveting screen that could be seen all around the stadium. This screen  amazed me and my friend as it expanded and contracted, sending the most spectacular images to us. I watched on the second night, and I heard from a friend who was there on opening night that the band added more songs. I didn’t hear “Stuck In a Moment” but all my other favorites were there: Pride (In The Name of Love); Elevation; Sunday, Bloody Sunday; Where the Streets Have No Name; One; I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For; All I Want is You; New Year’s Day; and so much more.

I came to dance and sing, but somehow the people around me did not want to stand up for most of the show. They looked like they had all come from work and were generally reserved. Either that or they were too young to know the other songs. My friend and I, on the other hand, were stunned and mesmerized by the lights. We wanted to make the most of the concert by standing up to join the party! We should have bought tickets to the Red Zone but those cost thrice as much as what we paid for. I heard, however, that the organizers gave away unbought tickets at the last minute to fill up the stadium. And I met someone who got lucky enough to get an upgrade from the bleachers to the front seats. Oh, how I envied him.

In hindsight, I appreciated my vantage point because I could see the whole stage from where I was sitting. My beloved Lumix LX5 also was able to capture the moment in HD. I can’t upload the videos here because its format is not recognized by WordPress, but if you’re my Facebook friend, you can check my videos there.

For now, just enjoy the photos and imagine the energy, the music, and the magic of that night:

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For some news and videos, read this article.

Luigi – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2


While my nephew was performing, some of his family in the audience, including myself, were brought to tears. He’s only 12. He’s amazing.

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