Sunday, June 28, 2009

Songs I Grew Up With

The recent demise of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, made me nostalgic about the songs from my past. From my childhood years up until today, that I'm a mother of 2 kids, songs have always been at the background.

While i was growing up, around 5-8years old, i was still with my parents in the province of Masbate. I remember listening to the long playing albums (the vinyl-kinds) of Nora Aunor (tiny bubbles... in hawaii..), Victor Wood, Sylvia La Torre (balot, penoy)and Celeste Legaspi (Mamang sorbero, saranggola ni pepe). But that is not to say, we're that parochial. On the international front, I knew Patty Page (tennesee waltz... was a favorite!), Nat King Cole (I can't remember the exact titles of his songs, but let me hear the intro, and I will surely remember the rest of the lyrics), a slew of Elvis Prestley's, Beatles... Ooh, not to forget, I also love to sing-along to the catchy songs of Cascades (Rhythm of the Rain, Last Leaf..) Beach Boys (Surfin' USA, Califoria Girls), Four Aces, Platters and Neil Sedaka (Put your head on my shoulder, diana, Happy birthday sweet sixteen...)

When i went to Manila to study, since elementary days up to grade 5, i stayed with my grandmother in Ongpin, Manila. My mother's cousin, Ate Adela, served as my yaya, fetching me to and from school. Since she was only about 4 years older than I am,
we had the same taste in music. Our lives revolved around Menudo! Menudo was a group composed of 5 extremely cute young men from Puerto Rico. Whenever they turn 16, they graduate from the group, and is replaced with a new one. We used to buy tons of songhits, and if the cover was Menudo, we will lovingly cover it with plastic covers. Looking back, when i had more matured appreciate for music, i recall that the voices of menudo members are actually "duh?!" They're horrible. I wonder how i could have squealed over them!

When i was about 12 or 13 years old, my older brothers came to Manila, from their boarding school in Iloilo, to continue their high school education. Despite a one-year gap between their ages, they have different tastes in music.

Our eldest brother Ricky was a rocker. From him, i learned the songs of Scorpio, Nazareth, Eagles, Queen, Kiss, and Journey. My elder brother Ed was a fun of 80s, he's the nerdy-type who excels in school at matipid sa allowance. You can always count on him for extra dough. From Ed, i learned New Wave music like OMD, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Spandau Ballet, Fra Lippo Lippi, the Crew, Depeche Mode and a number of other unforgetable band names but who have one-time hits.

I have my own personal favorites, too, which my two brothers consider tacky. What the heck, I'm thirteen! I loved Michael Jackson (Beat It, Bad, Billy Jean), Madonna (Papa Don't Preach & Crazy for You), Cindy Lauper (Girls just wanna have fun, time after time), Laura Branigan (self-control,Power of Love) Gloria Estefan (conga!), Bryan Adams (summer of '69), Culture Club (karma chameleon, miss me mild), Huey Lewis & the News (hip to be square), and who was that who sang Tarzan Boy?

Those were the days of casette tapes and walkmans. We usually "record" our favorite songs from the radio to our portable casette tapes. Or, alternately, you can give a list of your favorite songs to any store along Raon, Manila. They'll record the selections for you.

I went back to Masbate during my 6th grade to 4th grade. We didn't have FM signal in our place. Can you just imagine, a city-bred like me adjusting to it? That's why i went back to the old vinyl records of my parents and really mastered the 70s hit songs, in those vinyl records! It doesn't help that even AM stations, also seemed to be stuck in 70s various artists selections turned into modern tunes (Pretty little baby..)

Whenever my father would go back to Manila, I would ask him to buy my the latest casette tapes. At that time, I was already a teenager, i was into love duets...James Ingram, Patti Austin, George Benson, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie.... Hay... kilig!!

When i was in college at UP, it was back to Manila life for me. I quite unfamiliar with the 90s songs, it was my roommate Kaye Madrid who introduced me to acoustics rock. She plays a mean guitar. I became acquainted with Jon Bon Jovi, U2, nirvana, radiohead, pearl jam, stone temple pilot...

Working at ABS-CBN, my colleague Myra and I love Regine Velasquez! But we weren't into music much then, we were into self-help books like jack canfield's chicken soup for the soul, paul coelho, john grisham...

During my pregnancy with the kids, I'm into classical music almost every morning and night. I had my brother, who now shuttles between Hongkong and China, to buy me the compilations of tchaikovsky, mozart and beethoven. I have about 5 CDs from each Master. I don't bother with the titles, i just pop one into the CD player or my laptop, like what's playing now, whenever I'm alone.

The kids now, all growing-up, while I'm playing those classical music for the one in the tummy now, thinks that classical is soooo noisy. What happens to the babies whom i raised in mozart while they were being conceived? Well, they're now into Black Eyed Peas, Pussy Cat Dolls, even Elton John, and willie revillame!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Off to Big School for Hans!

Remember 6 months ago, Hans did series of entrance exams to enroll for the coming school year? It was a whirlwind, trying to meet requirements and worrying if Hans can hurdle the big schools' standards (Ateneo, La Salle and Lourdes). We didn't had him take Xavier's, I have trauma against Chinese Schools. (He can learn another language as an extra-curricular activity, some other time.)

Anyway, he passed all the 3 big schools alright, but eventually the main consideration why we chose to enroll him at Lourdes School are the following:

1.)COST - Prep school in Ateneo costs more or less 83K per year. La Salle's rate is about 95K per year. Those doesn't include miscellanous and books. Both offer only
2-installments payment schemes which has interest. Lourdes' rate is only 50K. We have the option to pay quarterly, per semester or one-time. No matter what scheme, they do not add-on any interest.

2.) PROXIMITY TO THE HOUSE - a child is in his growing up years, it's cruel to have him wake up 430am or 500am to travel to school. I also don't want him to be lantang gulay at the end of the day, travelling to and fro, with all the traffic around the metro. Secondly, I also want the school to be near where i work, so I can also be present in emergencies, meetings or school programs.

3.) CATHOLIC EDUCATION - Having schooled in catholic school ourselves, and turning out just fine.. We want all the works for Hans -- first communion, rosaries, mass, daily prayers, service, etc. Is it asking too much, if i hope to see him, an acolyte someday ?

4.) NOT TOO BAD REPUTATION - the only not so favorable comment i hear about Lourdes, is that, there are a number of kids that end up being gays. But we believe that, if one is destined to be gay, he will be, no matter what. Besides, both of us are full-time hands-on parents. I think the kids are aware of gender differences and roles, early on in their lives. The other thing favorable thing I hear about Lourdes, they turn-out kids who are street-smart. Who would not be? the school is just a block away from EDSA! Hahahaha. Kidding aside, I do not want to cuddle my son, and to live constantly fearful of what's happening to him. I want my son to grow up, ready for the challenges of life. He must be able to take care of himself, with or without mommy & daddy around.

So, yesterday, Hans rode his school bus, and was on his own, for the first time, without any mommy/ daddy or yaya. I was not apprehensive at all, I was confident for Hans.

Well, I was suppose to meet him, at the gate, because the school bus' staff are not allowed inside the school. I was suppose to bring him to his classroom. He has not been to his classroom yet, the only place he's been to in Lourdes was the guidance office during the exam.

When ted and i arrived in school, Hans was already inside the classroom, sitting there, waiting for classes to start with his huge bag. Galing! I wonder how he found his classroom? When i asked him at the end of the day, apparently, he went with a parent, who had a kid, wearing similar prep-uniform like he was wearing, and she helped him find his way inside the big school. Bravo!

We stayed for about 30minutes observing the class, until all the parents were turned-away, since most the the kids are settled already. Three of his classmates were crying having separation anxieties. Hans, covered his ears, with all the crying. :) Until we waved him good-bye, as we went off to our respective days ahead.

In retrospect, I tell my friends and my husband, seeing my eldest starting in big school is a bit overwhelming. "Imagine, nagsisimula pa lang kami. Andaming pa niyang pagdadaanan... school projects, book reports, field trips, relationship problems... I recall my own childhoold challenges, yung maliit na mundo ko noon, na buong akala ko ay this is the world, yun pala, mas malawak pa ang mararating ko." My son has to undergo these things, overcome small challenges to grow up to be somebody someday.

My husband confidently assures me, "Kaya natin yan! We just have to take it a step at a time." Hahaha! Do i hear Jordin Sparks? Pero totoo nga, "We live and we learn...A step at a time, there's no need to rush. It's like learning to fly, or falling in love. It's gonna happen, baby, what's suppose to happen. When we find the reasons why, one step at a time."