I Am a Singer

我是歌手。The producers of this show did a successful job in getting the audience hooked in anticipation . What I anticipated was the performances from G.E.M. and Zhang Jie, as well as what others will perform. I did see the efforts of all the participants and I appreciate how Zhang Jie picked the songs that mean something to him and gave new renditions to the songs. I like how G.E.M.’s producer Lupo Groinig arranged the songs she performed and how she delivered them. Every song is lingering in my mind such as her very first song then on stage back when only few knew of her there, the song 泡沫 that captured the attention of the people. She said that before that she had only a few followers, few people who welcome her at the airport, but through the show she gained a lot of followers which was quite unbelievable. Her rendition of 存在was amazing, as well as her version of 我要我们在一起 with piano performance,the female version of Jay Chou’s龙卷风+安静 was wonderful too where she added a new flavor,and then Beyond’s 喜欢你, even though she stopped when she couldn’t hear the program at the beginning, her comeback was memorable. Her performance of “If I Were a Boy” was inspiring too that I think many girls can relate to. It was captivating when she performed Mayday 五月天’s你不是真正的快乐 and I like the mix of another song of Mayday’s that they added towards the end; encouraging everyone and herself to be happy; ending it with 我要你快乐!It was nice to see how she enjoyed watching other’s perform, as an ordinary audience engrossed in music and how she showed appreciation to her fellow singers. It was also great how she gave her best on each performance.

张杰’s勿忘心安,聽你聽我 and every song he performed were thoroughly thought out. You’d be able to feel that he is telling a story in every song, that there’s a message he wants to speak to the audience. Images arise as he sing the songs. I particularly like his duet performance with JJ. That was superb tandem between them – 默契十足!It was nice of JJ to have given the stage to his friend and at the same time giving his best even when he was suffering from sore throat. I saw a friend helping out a friend, and both of them enjoying the performance. In the end, there were two big stars shining as they collaborated. I like the fusion of both of their songs, which came from each of their first albums, the songs 最美的太阳+翅膀。

The lyrics that says, “给我翅膀,让我可以翱翔,给我力量,是你让我变坚强, 不怕受伤/因为有你在身旁/你的笑你的泪是我做梦路上最美的太阳/路上的堡垒/用你给我的翅膀飞我感到一种安慰,乌云再多我们也不为誰掉眼泪/用你给我的翅膀飞。I like their duet very much and their ending too. The song expresses positive encouragement to the listeners and expresses much about how they got this far.

I enjoyed G.E.M.’s duet with 方大同:春天里, which was very refreshing and inspiring, performed quite smoothly. It was nice that Khalil Fong showed up to help his friend.

韩磊deserved to win the top spot, with the rigor of his voice and the intensity of his performance. We were just quite disappointed with the duet song he performed during the finals night.

It was a great season with nice performances from 曹格,动力火车,品冠,满文军,罗琦and韦唯。The special featured the participants of both season 1 and 2. I like Zhang Jie’s 他不懂 even before he performed it there and G.E.M.’s “Imagine” is a good ending to their team. No one was declared winner on the competition between season 1 and season 2 contestants.

In the end, music speaks to each of our hearts that’s why it can reach people all over the world with diverse culture. We have similar experiences that’s why we can relate to the songs being sang and the way the singers get the messages across.

Ear Muffs

“I never been the one to shout because I listen. I don’t like to raise my voice. And maybe I should learn to lose my inhibitions and let my feelings make some noise. ‘Cause you don’t know what I’m going through…when silence is all I give to you. So hear me, if you’re out there, take these words, try to understand, that I want you and I need you to take the hand of a quiet man.

I love the way you hear the words unspoken, how you read between the minds. You know before the silence has been broken, well at least most of the time…But I don’t know what you’re going through, it must be something I didn’t say to you. So hear me, if you’re out there, take these words, try to understand, that I want you and I need you, to take the hand of the quiet man.” – Jack Savoretti

Sometimes you’d wish you can shut your ear but you can’t, the only thing you can do is to cover them, walk away and recently I’ve thought of something, how about ear muffs? I thought about ear plugs, but ear muffs will be much visible and would probably make a statement that I don’t want to listen and somehow I can select which ones I want to listen to. Sometimes, the sounds get too loud that you want to turn the noise down but couldn’t and you’re left with no choice but to listen to the whole thing. Of course, in reality, I couldn’t do that.

People turn to me to say their piece, problems and heartaches. Maybe there’s something on my face that says tell me your problem. So I chug down the things I’ve been told. The advice of a lot of people is to listen from one ear and let it out in the other right away. I am open to people’s problems, that at times I don’t need to say something nor agree with them, I just have to listen. There would be times that you’d hope that people would listen to you for a change. I’m not always happy and it’s a constant effort to push away negative thoughts. Just like what Gretchen Rubin said in her book “The Happiness Project”, that it’s a big effort to be happy, happy people are not naturally jolly people who don’t experience problems, but they make sure that they can emerge okay even through hardships.

The song “between the minds” by Jack Savoretti speak to me so much because I am just beginning to speak up but easily shut down by the elders at home. In confrontations, the situations easily become against me. No comforting words in the end, and everything would turn out to be my mistake. Eventually, I was discouraged to listen to them speak, and become too careful with my words to not be misunderstood. I still listen to the people who listen to me too. I think listening should be reciprocal. It could be tiring when the people won’t listen but just want themselves to be heard. Communication could foster harmony and rapport among people. It doesn’t work if only one side is talking and one side listening, instead it must be mutual exchange of ideas. Nothing will be resolved if the thoughts are coerced upon the other, and peace couldn’t be achieved without proper acknowledgement of both side. It would be more like the speaker and listener are both wearing the ear muff.

Day 55: #100happydays

It’s my sister’s birthday and she wanted to go to the mall to shop and just eat. We accompanied our nephew there after picking him up at school since his mom won’t arrive until later. We had lunch at Pho Hoa then we asked our nephew to stay at CBTL where there’s internet with the Swirl Card. We didn’t want to tire him once we go shopping. My sister and I claimed our free drinks at Starbucks and sipped as we walked. We bought some gifts for Achi and Mom at Silver Finds, hopefully they’d like the necklace with pendants engraved with amethyst and topaz stones. Then we explored some shops like Aeropostale, Cotton On, Regatta, and along the way thought about some gift ideas for the upcoming birthdays and Mom’s assignment from our grandmother.
After shopping, we went to Café Breton to have some coffee and crepes. Later on, my niece arrived from school and we switched place to Red Mango where she had some yoghurt. She had to buy something at Faceshop so we stopped by there and then the exploration of facial products store continued. They have different interior and each has its own set of uniform for their sales attendant. After that, we head to Ya Kun Kaya Toast as my niece suggested. I had some Teh there. We also bought the spare phone (a basic one – just for call and text) that our parents asked us to buy.

Then we explored Korean shops for beauty and facial products. First stop is Faceshop where I bought two facial masks, then next we headed to Etude House where my sister bought a CC cream and third, we went to the newly opened Nature Republic and we bought an emulsion and a facial mask to try and compare it with Faceshop’s products. My niece recommends the facial masks from Faceshop and they have more choices.

There were lots of products to choose from and the culture for pampering oneself or taking care of one’s skin is evolving really fast. The choices though made us feel quite overwhelmed also because we’re not familiar with what certain products do or if we really need those skin-care products. We actually just settle with a facial wash and a moisturizer, no make-up or other skin-care products.
We usually stick with the ones we’ve tried or shift to another product if what we were using was not available anymore. It’s quite contradicting though that these products emphasize nature or being natural but then they are already formulas mixed together to “contain/preserve” or enhance beauty. But as with the change of climate, or aging and the hazards that our surroundings pose to us, we need to take care of our skin and be conscious of protecting it. Just don’t go overboard or don’t let it get too expensive.

We accompanied our cousin with her kids and our aunt at Recipes where they grabbed a quick dinner. They had to go home and we had to wait for our parents to arrive. We had dinner at TOSH and bought milk tea from Happy Lemon. We had to quickly drop by M&S since it is nearly closing time to accomplish the assignment from our grandmother, a gift for his son’s birthday. My sister said that the sales there had teamwork that made the processing of everything very fast.

I had fun spending time with family, shopping with my sister is always fun; the little surprises and spontaneity of things made the day more colorful. In sum though, I had too much caffeine in my system that hindered falling asleep fast; but this is one full day that I’m grateful of having.

渺小

原来最大的怀疑总有最渺小的自己。。。
宇宙洪荒在沉默总会有最闪烁的星星
某一天消失,某一天诞生,某一天宽恕我和你。 -渺小。Hebe Tian’s song

突然觉得非常的渺小, 當我們面对不可思议的意外的时候就会有这样的感觉
或是面临挑战的时候就会想到我们如此的庆辛
把周围的镜子放大,就会觉得自己只是其中一个点
总算走出来了,放下了 才能看得开。
能看得开是一个过程,在那之前会很挣扎也不断的抱怨
可能一时看不到到底为什么要退让,难道让的还不够吗?
后来想想有好多事情是没什么大不了的,过了就好象不怎么严重了,也变得很渺小
坚持过的东西也变得无所谓了,事情也发生过了好机回,现在比较可以放得开了。
不管受过多少伤痕,痛处一定会好转的,伤口可能不能完全愈合
至少学会了,也便坚强了
每个人都有自己的生活方式,信念,经历,立场,理想和态度
我们不能免强,只能努力前进,而让自己找到属于自己的路。
在成长的过程中,有好多值得去感慨而我很感谢能有这样的生命
可以为了渺渺小小的事情而感动
渺小的事情如果放在一起可以变得很大
如果不解决小小的问题那它们将会更复杂
所以我追求了许多疑问和坚持,
但慢慢的懂了,虽然我们很渺小但是我们的存在很值得
而那要靠我们的努力去创造美妙的人生。

 

Moving Forward

In the cool breeze of the morning in January, the students file up at the gates of the school. The campus is constantly being filled with people. Classes has already began last week after the Christmas holidays. It’s good to be back, though nothing much changes, just the faces of the security guards and the gradual additions and renovations around the campus. The students still smoke their life away and endangering other people’s lives.

I’m inspired by the professors and staff at school. They smile even when there are tons of reasons to frown. They have problems in the family, kids to look after with no one else to help them out, bills and expenditures to settle, and chores to do back home. They also have big responsibilities in handling classes, attending defense, meetings and seminars, writing research papers, fulfilling their roles in the department and somehow they manage not to let their personal lives affect their work. One’s health does affect one’s efficiency at work but they get up each morning doing all the same things again, be better to face the challenges again. I heard different stories they have with their children, their own struggles and battles and somehow you see the experience and strength wielded in their eyes. I am impressed by how professors who are mothers handle chores at home, spend time with their kids, know the schedule of their children and still manage to attend to their duties in school. They juggle everything and still manage to move forward gracefully. A child cheers them up, brightens their day and that made them feel good. In the midst of trials, they are brave and still find it in their hearts to be thankful.

Now, it’s April and they still courageously go on to meet the redundancies in life or to brace the surprises that come their way.

Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections

I started my journey as a writer when I was studying in the University. I didn’t join any organization that could expand my writing, but I would just sit down in the school café upon arriving in the campus rather early or when I have to wait for my brother or my father as my whereabouts is completely tied with them. I’m usually alone during breaks so I grab a quick lunch in the cafeteria and order coffee from my barista friend there. I just needed a pen and a journal and I’ll be lost in the imaginative world. Waiting is not a problem for me.

In college, I was the one tasked to write scripts, and on one class project which was a radio play, my professor even told me that I should’ve been the one to have written the script with my talent instead of just being a crew. I had some writing classes like our Filipi 3 in College where we were tasked to write journals and stories and I was really encouraged by Ms Kate, our professor then when she told me that I should continue writing. Another class was Litelec, which is an elective, and I happen to get a writing course. I felt jittery during workshops but our professor Ms Asenjo had encouraged my writing skills and helped develop my stories.

Then we had our major courses that included Feature Writing, where my professor, Sir Nonon, was really inspiring and the writing exercises he gave us were challenging and enriching. Until now, he encourages me to write and submit my stories. Another major course was centered on writing, mainly because our professor then was a writer. Just this time, it involved critical analysis of media trends with a hint of creative writing. Generally, our major classes involved researching and writing which for me was a fun activity.
Looking further back, I used to make cards, write letters and do crafts for my family and relatives. I would receive encouragement to write but not really to further develop it. When choosing a course in college, I shun away from the Mathematics and felt that I needed something that links to writing. While in college, I would receive comments about what would I turn out to be with the course I’m taking up? I didn’t have much confidence then to develop my writing skills.

And then when I started working for my professor/mentor, I would still hang out in the café for the same reason back in college and start scribbling. This has become a habit that I have to order a cup of warm coffee to accompany my writing. At times, I would bring along the paperworks as I have to check the stacks of student submissions and slip in writing a page or two of my journal or story drafts. I accumulated a lot of drafts that I have yet to digitize. Even in the digital age, I still preferred scribbling in notepads, papers and notebooks, thus, I developed a pile of clutter in our room. I still continue to contribute written drafts, but right now, I am more consistent in encoding them and every single day I have something new to add.

Working in our department (not as a professor as most people would conclude), I gained the opportunity to write stories, translate, submit my works, edit entries for book compilations, and publish. Together with my professors, I was able to publish a few of my short stories mostly in Filipino (which became a subject for question again to my relatives). Some of them really read my stories even though they had a hard time with it. Filipino was one of my favorite subjects ever since, maybe because I liked all my teachers then that really inspired me.

I began to really read books after I graduated since I was just busy with the ones required at school or for research purposes. At first, they were crime fiction novels, adventure or young adult series novels, Later on, it evolved to non-fiction books which covers topics about psychology, business, economics, finance, sciences and Chinese books. I discovered that I really love reading, visiting bookstores and trying to find a new title to read. Reading has introduced me to different and similar worlds, to interesting perspectives and inspiring stories around the globe.

Being able to publish is a huge encouragement to me and I saw how proud my dad and relatives were when they saw my books (even though they are just entries). Some of my relatives were expecting an entire book written by me, but I am grateful with the published stories and I will continue writing. The editor of one of the books my entry was selected into gave encouraging words that have pushed me to write more.

I write when there are significant issues that I want to address, whether it is personal or a national issue. I write to be refreshed and discover something new or something that was already there all along. I write to weave stories that hopefully are inspiring. I write to tell an inspiring narrative, to commend a good book, music or show. I write because it feels right.

I started this blog at WordPress which really help me explore more about writing. In this blog, only few of my family and friends know about this. Writing has helped me bring in the pieces together, in the process I learn to make sense of the things that are happening around me. There are painful moments and hard lessons in life that made my heart weary but through writing, I gained a comfort zone where I can be creative, explore the questions and sometimes even find the answers.

I started another blog which might be a next step for me to somehow publicize this. When I started an Instagram account, it encouraged me more to take pictures and write about them. This created another path in my writing skills. For me, reading and writing opened up new avenues for me and I won’t get tired of writing.

Daily Post Writing Challenge

 

Day 37 #100happydays

I felt accomplished at the end of the day. We were able to meet with our cousin whom we planned to eat dimsum with and had coffee together, did some catching up and played Monopoly Deal. When we went home, got to play with our niece and when my cousin left, we started organizing the things in our room since our cabinet drawer arrived. We cleaned the place thoroughly before moving in the furniture. I still have lots of sorting to do but am glad with what we accomplished with just a couple of hours. We received an impromptu invitation to a shabu-shabu dinner with our cousin, her kids and our aunt. I enjoyed the meal very much since I was craving for hotpot these past few days. I like their sate soup, shabu sauce, and fried taopao. We rode their car back to our house and they waited there for time to pick-up her daughter at school. I offered them some ice cream and brewed some coffee (really late night coffee). They played again with my niece even when it’s already quite late, she has gained many friends these past few days. I changed my bedsheet and organized some things for the new furniture. After that, my sister and I watched the replay of I Am a Singer and slept at past two am. It was a very meaningful day for me.