When You Wish Upon a Star, this song was a hit on me whenever I will hear it being played. My mum told me that it was the song that I learned to hum and sang though in a baby talk way. They may not understand the lyrics coming out of my mouth but whenever it will be played, I will sing with it like a minus one accompaniment. Then my grandpa, grandma, aunts and the rest of them would be fond of me.
Mom added that I would even have a hand gesture while singing it in refrain on replay. They find me adorable then when I would do that.
But I really can’t remember a thing from that moment but whenever the song really is played until today, I can sing with it. As if I’ve sung it a thousand lifetimes, that’s what I would feel. I’ve read posts and articles back in my high school that babies exposed in listening to classical music while still inside their moms’ tummies respond well in terms of memory and intelligence. I wasn’t exposed to classical, neither my parents and what’s between my ears became a goldmine too over time.
I grew up listening to BeeGees, Chicago, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Introvoys and Rivermaya. Not to mention Michael Jackson. That was the time when I was learning to understand what the song really meant, its emotion, its message and to whom it is being sang. The BeeGees, Chicago, Stevie Wonder was a staple playlist of my mum’s brothers, my uncles. Comes summer time that would be our summer soundtrack of all time. Back then their songs was alien to me but until today whenever I would hear it, I am still struck by it. My nerves involuntarily reacts and convulses with the tune, especially when BeeGees songs are being played.
Oh, there was Air Supply and Mariah Carey too. Madonna and Mariah Carey were the influences from my dear Aunt E. Tapes and cassettes were the “in” thing then and I tell you she has that stocks of cases upon cases of tapes of Mariah Carey, I wonder where they were now because she left all of it stuck inside the old boudoir and nostalgia hit me when her kids came here for vacation, I wanted to share to them too their mom’s playlist that influenced me in appreciating music and all what rocks behind every song. There were also some love songs popularized by Jose Mari Chan and Martin Nievera in those tape collections. They are two of the greatest singers of ballads on the Philippine music scene.
Comes the 6th grade, I’d like to believe that music has a positive effect on me, still my memory serves me well until today, it was MTV days and the whole music industry changed, pop songs and pop artists flooded the scene. From RNB, HipHop to Alternative all set their popularity boost through the music videos. It was also the time were a ton of boy bands flickered on the MTV playlists. From Backstreet Boys(BSB), Boyzone, 911 and Moffats and Hanson. Am I making you all jitter and jilted to show off those dance moves and usual antics of these artists. That’s the idolatry stage. Some of my classmates have had that “butterfly” haircut like that of Howie and Nick of BSB. But I never reached that point, I liked some of their songs and it defined the generation where I am in. It helped me socialize with peers and build friendships. I just watched MTV all along and hear them out and listen to worthy ones. I really wanted to send those scrapbook style song requests. It didn’t happen. I can’t manage to save up for postage, my allowance was small and some days I don’t get any. MTV then was located at Singapore, no MTV Philippines yet, that’s why.
Then, I heard R. Kelly, Brian McKnight, Coldplay, The Corrs, The Cranberries, The Cardigans and even J.Lo, she was Jennifer Lopez then. My taste in all things then is really quite eclectic, in the sense that I don’t have a particular genre where I raped that replay button and I let it buzz through my head everyday. I am a TV junkie ever since so it would just be after school that I would get to hear these songs. Ipods, mp3s and smartphones aren’t yet a thing for me until my college days. TV and radio were the two conduits that reminds me of what are new songs and what songs are being raved and been ticking on the countdown. I reminded myself to go home early to catch up the countdowns because I know that my father would be my enemy with the TV. He’s awaiting for the early news and he usually doesn’t have the patience when I get to sit first in front of it. I hated him for that. In my head, doesn’t he love music or at least spare me, his highschool kid, to experience the growing generation platforms.
From year 2001, the music in me slowed down. Not that I liked more on the slow side rather my ears caught the alternative throbs. It was the year my grandpa LD died and it didn’t do me so well. The last time he was hospitalized, I tended him. I grieved on his loss for quite some time. I can’t even remember when I had totally let him go but I know that I rested him at peace until today. I’d still miss him. The soundtracks of Matchbox 20, The Creed described the tune of the insides of me. More of longing and happiness that I get to spend quality time with my grandpa LD before he became worst. I think he was my favorite, the fact that I lived with him at the old brown house all my childhood life, because he never ceases to tell stories of his time and it was a real moment just sharing with him, my grand old man.
When Eminem blurted those lyrical raps I was hands down and felt it up in me. I was in my junior high. Raging hormones and the feeling of making the world give up on you satiate my teen mind. An emerging artist in the rapping scene dominated by blacks, he did find his niche and won the world. I can hear Britney Spears on the side and I was annoyed by her and never hit me, though I gave her one more time but I just can’t. I did learn one thing from her that was to be patient, in waiting for my favorite music videos. She really flooded the entire music countdown then. I just wish her luck today.
Boy and girl bands came the second time around. West Life, Blue and All Saints(a sudden interest because of The Beach movie. I love beaches.) among others entered my playlist scene. They heated the Europe pop scene. Having mentioned Europe, I can’t forget the group of The Steps, that’s why they pop out of my mind. I appreciated their popsy dance beats when I was in 6th grade too. And I crush one of their girls, I think her name was Claire. She’s the most beautiful one for me back then. Now, I am embarrassed and pale.
Cutting short my embarrassment, I am glad that I didn’t go to the prom. Obviously my high school didn’t approve of it so we just had a class party to celebrate. No booze. Teachers and the Administrative Nuns were all ogling out at us during that night. It was all fair though at least I didn’t have had the chance to remember a song, a memorable song on that night that will keep on replaying in my head. You know with a special one. It was all party and having fun but it wasn’t memorable. I can’t even remember one dance music that’s when I told myself that I will produce a mashup of pop dance songs. My introduction of interest to house music came. And then there’s the slow dance, of course David Pomeranz was a hit there, “You’re king and queen of hearts,”.
“I’ll be your crying shoulder, I’ll be your love suicide. .”
“And I could not ask for more. .”
And there was Incubus, “Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there, with open arms. .”
Fra Lippo Lippi, Stephen Speaks and South Borders’ Rainbow compelled in uncovering the emotional part of me. I would like to believe it was just a phase. That feeling of wanting to be different from others but you also want to synch with the world, suddenly turning around to people you don’t like. I’ve learned to let go of them and accepted the fact that I won’t be a people pleaser, I wanted to be different but not indifferent. I will stick with my brand, cool and trustworthy. I did.
I gained real friends when I stick out my head from all these differences. I maybe an old soul trapped in time for I surrounded myself with less friends yet dear ones and it was friendship history. I could hear Mary J. Blige’s, “No more drama in my life. .”
With all those happy memories building up the world seem to keep the balance, and in no time my life’s been shocked without warning with a tsunami like impact, dampening and ravaging anything on its path. I didn’t have the time to scoot and ended up wrestling with anger and disappointment. It was the greatest disappointment of my life. I didn’t come crashing down, I faced it and learned to let go of it over time. It shook me to realize that scenes weren’t just contented inside the boob tube, it really happens in real life. It sucks and it felt crap but I’ve always thought of the order of balance and soon I found myself getting up, accepting and head held up. Urbandub’s A City of Sleeping Heart put me onto a trance, away and far, anywhere I will.
Typecast’s Will You Ever Learn and Boston Drama lingered too in my travel to that somewhere, away and far.
“I don’t mind spending everyday, Out of the corner in the pouring rain. .”, On my way to the university, I turned my head outside while it was being played on the jeepney’s stereo. Maroon 5 won me over. Summer is at hand that time and it felt good and was just cool motor mouthing this on the bus or jeepney, even on a pedicab.
Black Eyed Peas put me on the spot right in front of the TV again. Slacked and beat. I was back at my MTV sessions days. An MTV junkie at its prime. Then MTV Philippines disintegrated and I am at a loss again to retread my interest to music. Something happened and part of that baggage still had been staying inside my own dungeon. And I am at the bridge of closing whatever that is new to me. I grounded myself to my old playlist and it was the only thing being replayed within me.
Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars touched me. I still can’t get out from my dungeon. But I continued with my life. I fought myself through the cobwebs and dark alleys and head for the exit door.
“If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world. .”
December of 2009, it was time for our annual high school reunion and I was their Mister president. Together with my bestfriend S, she’s the Miss president, we came up with the most memorable party there is for our classmates. I collated a heavy track of playlists from Pop, RnB, Dance and more of Pop-Dance genre. It was a party and it deserved a track of songs ready to rock the house down altogether. Yes to booze. And more booze. I was also reunited with B.E.P. as in Black Eyed Peas and we danced the night away with them on the speakers. There were some Pussycat Dolls and J.Lo and Usher among others. One more thing, I saved another playlist before the usual Pop and Dance, it was all house music and remixes, I eased with the beats and bass coming out of my headsets while seated fronting the PC. I was hesitant to plug it in. Wondering how they would react to the song and when I did, some bob their heads as if of approval but most have that cringe of face, annoyed maybe of the bass and altercations of beats. So I turned right back in the Pop, Dance and RnB playlist. Then I realized that it was not the crowd who will accept it right then and there. It was a blast still.
Elena Gilbert had me at Mystic Falls High. Damien Rice’s Volcano swooned me to her and she is so amazing. I was hit by The Vampire Diaries bug.
From that highschool reunion I didn’t forget my appreciation of house, electronic and progressive house music rather it pumped my interest on it and wanting to get to know all those disc jockeys having a blast.
I love pop. It is my generation thing but I only pick some. As I continue to live with my life, music will forever keep me alive for sure. I’ve seen my ups and downs and I know there are more to come but I have this thing in me to ground, to anchor my myself just so I can face anything that will be thrown at me. Music will be my refuge and my stress reliever because it will take me somewhere, away and far, temporarily. To think of ways, to think of something better. My ears I think were made to listen to music even though I myself isn’t an inclined person. I don’t know how to play any instruments, like really give justice to its musical capabilities.
So, I will always get better because of music. And these playlist of my life will continue on. I will stop if there’s a need to. I will play or pause fairly when I am faced with monstrous challenges. I will not, never will I push that fast forward. I want to live my life day by day. See the sun rise and set. Spend with my family and friends. And maybe from time to time I will press repeat/replay just to remind me that a thing in the past made the “I” of the present. I’m still cool and trustworthy so I like to press shuffle too sometimes. Take me anywhere because that’s life, fluid and dynamic.