Colombiazoned

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The track is available at: https://soundcloud.com/kylehabaradas/colombiazoned

BACKGROUND: Last 2015, when my country’s candidate Pia Wurtzbach won as Miss Universe, I was one of the happiest people on earth. Knowing her story, how she persevered to reach her goals and dreams made her victory so sweet. But with such a controversial turn of the crown, as you may recall, her reign hasn’t been the smoothest with all the hate comments and negative vibes from certain people. But she handled them all with grace and poise, as any Miss Universe winner would.

My fellow Filipinos, always seeing the humor in any situation, coined the term ‘Colombiazoned’ referring to what happened that unforgettable night. It refers to how you end up expecting something so badly but in vain. And there was a craze of using that word in statuses or ‘hugot’ posts. After some time, I had the inspiration to compose something for a national songwriting competition the next year. And before I knew it, with hard work and creativity sustained by God’s help, Colombiazoned was born! (I never made it to the contest proper though but hey, at least I tried!)

I know some of you dear readers may not understand the context of this song. (Even the lyrics to my non-Filipino audience poses a challenge!) Or it may be just the quality  of my record. (Forgive me for I don’t have a recording studio. Can you give me one? *Laughs) But whether you can relate or not, I hope you get the meat of my composition and never end up being Colombiazoned or worse, ending up like Steve Harvey!

Hindi ko akalain

Na ikaw ang naging salarin

Ng paghulog ng aking puso

Pag-ibig nga ba to?

Iyong napatunayan

Ika’y higit pa sa kaibigan

Para ako lang yung nanalo

Ng Miss Universe na titulo

Ngunit ako’y pinagpalit

Yung feeling na ika’y pinaasa

Ang sakit

Ako’y pinagkait

Sa pag-ibig na maling akala

(Bakit ako naniwala?)

Chorus:

Steve Harvey ng buhay ko

Bakit mo na kayang gawin ito?

Randam ko na ako na talaga

Pero hindi pala, hindi pala

Kawawa naman ako

Ganito pala kapag Colombiazoned

Nasa akin na yung korona

Bakit hindi na lang ako ang Pia

Ng buhay mo

 

Mahirap makamove-on

Kapag hapdi’t kirot ang baon

Naging marupok ang puso

Sana hindi imaging bato

Pero babangon ako

Hinding hindi na ulit aasa

Totoo kahit papano

Walang makakatigil sa pagkanta

(Mga Colombiazoned, sama sama!)

Repeat Chorus

Bridge:

Mabuti pa ang weather may PAG-ASA

O ang pag-utang may Pag-ibig

Ang damit nga may Forever

Eh tayo? Paano ako?!

Repeat Chorus

 

P.S. If you feel like singing the song and know it by heart, then sing along!

The Inquisition

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I don’t know if it’s the hormones or just the holiday blues but I sort of felt burdened/weary recently… Well, human as I am, I am always prone to fluctuations in my mood or emotions. Who on earth is not? There is no immunity no matter how much I consider myself to be a proton. To express myself subtly, here are random questions (some petty, some serious) I’m faced with at the moment and maybe you, dear reader have an answer or two…

Why is it that when you want to achieve something out of good purpose (you’re actually doing someone a favor with your willingness to help) , you end up with ‘antagonism’? But the person who asks something that is not needed at all from that same someone, is met with, ironically, a positive response?

How is it that some people cannot afford to say even just a simple “thank you” especially when it is somehow desirably expected?

 Why do good people still lose friends? 

Why is it that some people are so perplexed and hard to grasp? You are willing to help but why do they still choose to make things more complicated?

How do you get your doctor parents to listen to you? Because seriously, you’re very concerned with their health but they’re like worse than kids so how do you stay patient with such patients?

What should I really feel when people think I’m a high school student? Should I be happy because I still look young or should I feel bad because there might be something wrong with my endocrine system? 

How long will it take for me to get this right? When will the cycle ever stop? 

Why did I allow myself to become like this? I know some things will never be, should never be but why do I feel so inclined to feel such emotions for or to these people?

Why is it that people always seem to see the good in me and put me on a pedestal? Not that it’s a bad thing but how I wish they knew so they could see that I’m also struggling or maybe worse than they could be/are?

Do I have what it takes to become the doctor I intend to be and what God plans me to be?

Will I ever find the girl of my dreams? Or is she already there and I just have to open my eyes?

Will I be ready for the second Advent? (I hope and pray so. I had to answer something for this one. After all, the eternal prize is my most important goal in life.)

(Breathes deeply.)

I think I feel much better now, to the point that I can light up a cigarette. (Joke intended!)

 

I Freaking Hate It When…

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Not my usual face but as a human being, I have the right to put on such…

Backstory: I arrived just last Sunday back  to my second home, Iloilo City for the burial of my uncle and for our annual PE before enrollment the next day. And you know what welcomed me? Traffic. Incessant, disturbing traffic. Well, for a highly progressive place that’s become more of a metropolis recently, this is a normal scenario. But with the ongoing reblocking of the street in front of my school, things have worsened.

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Let the picture do the talking!!!

Before, I was already planning of writing about the things that irk me or bug me; in short, things that I hate. And with this very stark trigger, how could I not do that now? (Laughs) But please don’t get me wrong. I do have a tendency to complain at times but that doesn’t mean I’m the squawker type of person. (By God’s grace, may I lose this tendency though!) My initial purpose was to vent out such things as a way of expressing myself and sharing my opinion (I do live in a democratic country.) BUT with tact and dignity. Well, ranting is not the way to go for a Christian like me! You see, human as we are, we all hate something. Or even someone, right? (If this is true for you, then I pray that you let go of the hatred.This feeling is not healthy as Jesus told us in Luke 6:27-28: But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.) But the latter is another topic so I’ll just stick with the things that I dislike because I don’t want to hate anybody. 

And before I forget, this was supposed to be an Expressions Tuesday post! But because I was too busy yesterday, I’d just have to make a delayed one as I did before. Besides, some of my readers live in different time zones so yes, it’s still Tuesday for them! To aggravate this, there was a brownout (this is what we call blackout here).

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Reaching 100 likes inspired me to write this post!!!!

 

Whoa! Too much for an introduction. Let’s get it on with the 7 (yes, it seems like the perfect number) things or situations that I hate! I freaking hate it when:

  1. I end up in traffic especially preventable, unnecessary traffic. To supplement what I shared above, what bothered me the most with the present condition of Luna Street was the untimeliness of the government project. I have nothing against roads getting fixed but I just wonder why on earth didn’t they start it last summer? I think the reblocking started last June or July and so it would be hard for students to go to school. (By the way, most schools start their classes on June here in the Philippines.) And since it is still rainy season, you could imagine how that would stall the reconstruction. Tsk!!!! I hope and pray that this project would be finished as soon as possible!
  2. I see rampant pollution. As an environment-conscious individual, it makes me sad to see how my country is so dirty compared to its neighbor Singapore. I still haven’t traveled there but I know how strict their policies are on littering and garbage disposal. Well, there are cleaner places in the Philippines but in every city or town, there are always areas where the sight and smell are not pleasant. Goes to show how most of my fellowmen lack the discipline even in just putting trash where it belongs.
  3. Cigarette smoke says hello. Somehow connected to number 2 but with more emphasis on its impact to my and other people’s health. Especially when such noxious air comes from people who shouldn’t smoke or who are in places where smoking is prohibited. I call for strict implementation of ordinances and rules on smoking!
  4. Mosquitoes go on a biting buffet on me. As they dig me a lot, I always end up with the discomfort of scratching! Thank God, I haven’t suffered from dengue or malaria! I hope it remains that way. Ugh! Why couldn’t these creatures just suck my fats and not my blood?!
  5. I see an horrific image on the Internet by accident. I don’t watch horror movies but it doesn’t translate to security from seeing something dreadful. Twice, while I was scrolling my Facebook home page, I saw Valak from Conjuring (‘May masamang balak’). And it freaked me out! The worse part was how my mind vividly captured her image. Good thing, I didn’t have nightmares during those times.
  6. Someone stalks me. Who doesn’t? Actually, today marks the 3rd anniversary of my creepy encounter with my female schizophrenic stalker. I was avoiding her when I noticed she was into me or something. And I guess she got tired of my dodging so in order to get my attention, she threw her Nokia cellphone on me. Because of the impact to my head, it took a couple of seconds for me to analyze the thing that just happened. Plus, my lil’ sis got hit too but worse because it was by  the pointed part of the phone that really disassembled due to the force! I remember that out of my exasperation, I posted a status on Facebook that was so unlikely of me! (Hakuna matata, there were no curse words! Haha….) But as I look back now, I could only laugh at it and be grateful that because of that incident, she never bothered me again.
  7. I make careless, feeling-driven choices. (This one seems to be the most serious and personal.) “Life is what you make it”, they say and with every wrong decision you get to put yourself on the line for another one. I’ve read that making decisions out of feelings always lead to destruction and I got to  experience that the hard way. May it be that by God’s grace, I get to make wiser and better ones from this forward.

So far, these are the things I hate. There may be more than I can remember. But what’s important is that I was able to have a sweet release.

How about yours? I suggest you write them down too so that maybe, just maybe, you can do something about them.

The Greatest Connection of All

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Backstory: Last May, during our family summer trip at Palawan, I was amused to find that the Wi-Fi password for the pension house was JesusChrist. (Please refer to picture above.) I smiled back then and now I have to admit that it’s one of the best passwords I ever encountered. It was big proof that the owner of the place we lodged was probably a devout Christian. As time passed by, I had the prompting to write something about the password. Though it’s such a small matter, it spoke to me in volumes. So let me share the essence of this tiny, insignificant paper…

All around us, each day, we see how life is hugely dependent on technology. Our means of communication with each other entail the use of devices that have become more complex through the years. And for sure, as most of us are users of such, we know how important it is to have good connection. That’s why with the advent of Wi-Fi, everything seems to be faster and easier. (And personally, I couldn’t help but agree to this! There were times that I always inquired if there was Wi-Fi access or ensured that there was such! Yes, for a medical student/blogger/musician like me, Wi-Fi is a necessity.)

But as Christians, we need to ask ourselves the more important questions: How is my connection with Jesus? Am I spending time with Him, in prayer and study of His Word? Am I yearning to come to Him in solitude, to be near Him in spite of the inevitable pressures and constant busyness of  this life?

We all have different answers. And they reflect how we prioritize our relationship with God. But it doesn’t mean that if we perfect this practice daily, we’re in safe hands. Take it from my experience. I usually have my morning devotions and my separate time for my ‘Bible in One Year’ reading. But when assailed by temptation, it was like as if I never read any verse or prayed. I learned the hard way that coming out from the garden with God will not always prevent us from going into the wilderness of sin or hinder us from experiencing diverse trials. Yet, it is undoubtedly VITAL to keep our connection with God strong and especially during challenging times like when you are facing temptation, stronger. Kindly read Psalm 119:11 and 105 as supporting evidence to what His Word can do for us in those though moments.

I pray that these reflections would cause you to pursue a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Lord by assimilating the Living Word into our hearts and minds and cementing them with prayer!

Here’s to a spiritual reboot!

 

July 17-23: A Musical Week

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PHOTO SOURCE: woodlibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/musical-notes

NOTE: I wanted to start blogging about how my week went by and to share the different lessons or notable experiences I had if there were any. This will be written in a context of gratitude to God by which without His grace I know I could never accomplish anything or survive. But since I was busy yesterday (Sunday, July 24, Philippine time), I have to apologize for the delay! You see, I’m back as the official atsoy (helper) of our household. Haha, that’s another topic! Anyway, it’s better late than never as I fondly believe!

Well, to start things off, I came from a very tiring yet fulfilling week! The Thursday before, I found myself miles away from home again as I was back in the “City of Love”, Iloilo City. I was there for a chorale appointment which entailed me to practice and although I was already late, I was able to catch up with the rest of the group in learning new songs. Besides the daily grind on my vocal cords, I managed to have a general cleaning of my dorm room every day. I didn’t push myself to clean it in just one time because that was too tiresome. What really mattered was before I leave for home, my room would be decent as possible. I thanked God for helping me with these but there are 3 things that I’m certainly grateful for:

  1. Gracious sustenance: With only 2,000 pesos added to my pocket, I had to make sure that my spending was wise for groceries, payments, etc. And with limited money, I survived! That was because I had 4 free meals within the week! It really helped! Oh, God bless those kindhearted people!
  2. Miraculous healing: As evidenced above, my voice got sore from all the singing and late night sleeping! Sadly, I couldn’t sleep immediately on some nights. I was concerned because the day before our chorale gig, my voice was not in good shape! With appropriate regimens, I sought help by asking my friends to pray for me! And what do you know? On the night of our performance, I was able to sing my heart out as my singing voice came back! Faith and prayer really do wonders! And I thank God again for the healing power of ginger! 🙂
  3. Successful event: Dubbed as the ‘Mystical Moonlight Serenade’, the mini concert of Med Symphony (yep, that’s the name of our group!) proved to be a delight to the listening ears of the Philippine Psychiatric Association. From timeless classics to modern Tagalog compositions and to a fun, concluding Abba medley, I believe the doctors were more than entertained as we were more than overwhelmed with the financial gains we received.Wow! It was just a beautiful evening at a beautiful place (twas my first time in Casa Real, huh!) with beautiful people! #Beautiful na ini! But seriously, we did it on such a short time! And how can I forget to give credit to the Master Musician?
Med Symph

Photo taken by Fritz Hernz

So yes, that was how my Musical Week went. Musical not only because of #3! But also because, like music, I had my highs and lows but through it all, everything still played well at the end, beautifully! Thank You Lord! Here’s to more musical weeks!

Don’t Stop the Drip Drop

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The view from my room after the downpour. I hope you can see that unclear water drop from the ceiling.

It has been a pluvious morning so far and the rain actually stopped like 2 minutes ago. Well, it brought mixed emotions within. Don’t get me wrong. I love the rain. I thanked God for it because I know the plants are rejoicing now with the abundant water supply provided for them. Well, I think the shower today was the strongest for this month. (By the way, if you still don’t know, it’s already rainy season here in the Philippines. It starts from June and can extend up to September. We only have 2 seasons here you know. So yeah, lying on a pile of orange leaves or making a snow angel is still on my my bucket list.) And with this weather, it’s not hard to appreciate the coolness of the air, a refreshing balm from the usual heat we have in a tropical country. But my gratitude and relief were quite short-lived. I got irked out because the rain came on such a wrong time- when I was doing the laundry manually outside the house (plus some other related stuff which I need not mention). Good thing, it stopped for a little while but talk about the perfect nightmare of having the clothes you just washed drying slowly, without the sun’s help. (Our washing machine is left unfixed so you get the picture. :/) But this is not what I’m going to write about. Looks like I’ve shared too much already. (Laughs) Forgive me. With the timeliness of a rainy Wednesday, I just wanted to share how my Tuesday was rainy too but in a different way.

You see, yesterday, before I wrote my “Round and Round… No More” post, I spent some alone time with the Lord through contemplation and prayer. With music to enrich my experience, I was getting emotional. And I cried. I cried out of desperation, out of shame, out of conviction, out of helplessness. (If you read my post, you’ll understand where I was coming from.) I just cried to Him.

It wasn’t long until I cried again while watching the movie, “Miracles from Heaven” with my family. Although some parts of the movie didn’t agree with my beliefs, the true-to-life story touched my heart in ways I didn’t expect. I was clearly overwhelmed with the many essential lessons I drew with regards to faith and family. (If you still haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it! Just prepare your tissues or hankies though especially if you’re onion-skinned.)

And just when you think it’s the end of my tear provoking journey!  I decided to respond to the people who liked my post yesterday and I ended up reading some of their works. I was inspired and blessed with what I read. Until that one post where I almost cried because her message was just what I needed at the moment!

(Sighs.) I really cried a lot yesterday that if there was like a normal value range for tears, I’d say I was in the ‘Very High’ category. Or worse, did I defeat Sadness from ‘Inside Out’? Haha… But seriously, I realized later (and even now as I’m typing this) something valuable: Crying is okay. Crying is beautiful. We live in a world where crying is ‘usually’ considered weakness or femininity. But I beg to disagree. To cry is to say that you are strong enough to accept that you can’t make it on your own. To cry is to let go. To cry is to be human.

So whatever happens or wherever I may be, if I feel  like crying, I won’t stop the drip drop. Because after all, for me, tears are no waste.

P.S.Wow, just, wow! As I was about to end this post, the rain returned! Talk about natural reinforcement!

 

Unleashing the Kangaroo in Me

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SOURCE: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/kids/photos/animals/Mammals/H-P/kangaroo-hopping

Fresh from a precious nap, you might expect me to be energized to write out this entry. Or it might be the new month feels. (Wah, it’s already June 1?) Although they might be influential, there is certainly something deeper and more relevant that prompted me to hit the ‘Create a New Post’ button. Before sleeping earlier, I was not feeling well but I managed to have my daily, alone time with God. The message from Our Daily Bread was so timely and so inspiring that it got me thinking and self-evaluating. God’s providence even in the message you receive for the day never fails to amaze me. It was the same way too yesterday. So I guess now, you know why I really want to share this and hopefully, you can get something from this brief post.

From ODB, I learned that kangaroos seldom move backward and so do emus. Well, their anatomies are responsible for that. In analogy, the writer pointed out the importance of moving forward instead of being stuck in the past. I like what he said in the last paragraph: “While it is wise to learn from the past, we shouldn’t live in the past. We cannot redo or undo the past, but by God’s grace we can press forward and serve God faithfully today and in the future. The life of faith is a journey forward as we become like Christ.” These words hit me hard and led me to a self-examination because recently, things have been difficult for me. I was convicted of letting the past haunt me or rule my life even though there was already a time  I had to let go.

As I look back, I can’t help but feel regret for some things that I did. The feeling is mutual when I remember how I lost my IPhone 5 (it got wet during our trip to Palawan). Don’t get me wrong; I am not materialistic. But it kills me to know that I could never retrieve all the photos and videos taken from that device. Well, I just comfort myself though with the thought that at least, I didn’t lose something far valuable. I truly believe you know, dear reader, what I’m referring to. These are not actually things but people, values, etc. And before I forget, God taught me a lesson that day, learned the hard way but never forgotten. However, I’ll keep that to myself.

It wasn’t only in May that I was still bothered by the past. Just this morning, while doing the laundry with my sister, our conversation led to a ‘sensitive’ topic- the board exam. If you read my post on my board exam experience, then you’d understand where I’m coming from and why I mentioned it here. The unwanted reactions surely prove that I still didn’t move on completely and after reading the passage from ODB, God was clearly reminding me that I had to do so.

How about you, my friend? Are you still buried in the past that you can’t come out victorious even if you wanted to? Are you still harboring all those regrets and what-ifs in your mind? Now is the time to release them to the Lord. Now is the time to let go and completely entrust Him your life in faith. Now is the time to find your inner kangaroo and set it free.

P.S. Here’s something from the Bible to inspire you to move forward like a kangaroo (I hope the song would do likewise): “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).