Lydia watched Burt Bacharach in Sydney last night and she met Glen Baker, a rather famous person in Aus who is a judge on Australia’s Star Search and is a well known music critic. She met him through Craig Pelihopa, a good friend of ours who we’ve known way back. Craig invited Malu and Lydia to a pre-concert dinner. Lydia was so surprised when the topic turned to APO and Glen Baker said that he had 3 APO albums.!
Am not sure what albums he has but he said he bought them after seeing us in Manila. How cool is that? ha ha. It’s nice to know someone famous in Aus knows about Danny, Boboy and I.
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The 37th run of TAPPING THE CREATIVE UNIVERSE in Sydney last January 19 was just great! We had a group of 14 people in the beautiful Assumption Retreat place at Plumpton. Too bad it was raining because it would have been nice to have had some of the workshop modules outside. Next time, I intend to consider holding it overnight since they have rooms for attendees there. That will really be something.
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I am back in Manila. I felt I was dragging myself to the plane out of Sydney this time since I really enjoyed my rather long stay with my family. I actually felt bad about leaving. More than at anytime, I really feel that we as a family (and even individually) are getting into the groove of not just our new life but even the national life of Aus. We can now discuss the politics, the news, and enjoy and get into the significance of things such as Australia day, etc. I am also sort of getting known as a voice and guitar teacher. I’ve been getting a lot of new students and I feel good about that. And I am grateful that despite my many visits to Manila, we are able to continue lessons each time I get back.
I go through this mild ‘depression’ every time I stay long in Aus and have to go back to Manila. It takes me a few days to muster my spirit to get into the stream of life back here. Maybe the jetlag has something to do with it. Strangely enough, the three hour difference between Sydney and Manila is more disturbing to my biological equilibrium than the 12 to 16 hour difference between Manila and the US.
I am here to do shows with APO. I also hope to take some pics, hopefully for magazines. I will also be doing a few talks for a school, a company and do a run of my TCU Creativity workshhop this March. This will be quite busy but I am not complaining. I would rather be busy than not doing anything.
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It’s been around 15 months since I wrote my first column for Philippine Star. I can’t believe I did not miss even a single week. I’ve sort of gotten into a routine weekly to make sure my column is ready by Thursday for the Sunday issue. I write on Mondays and Tuesdays mostly.
Now I am starting some writing in Sydney as well. I will be a contributor to a community paper called Hills Life Magazine as a travel and lifestyle writer. It’s a monthly publication for the area of Baulkham Hills. I will be part of the first issue this year. Will let you know more details once I see my name in print. If you are in the area, watch out for it.
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It’s too early to talk about it, but I will, just to make sure we don’t delay things again. The other day, I submitted my first two songs to Danny and Boboy for the next APO album. It’s been quite a while since we did one and we are excited about it.
All these years, I’ve continued to write songs, but admittedly, most of my efforts have been directed towards writing books and columns and blogs. Sometimes, I would notice that I would even stop listening to songs for months.
To make an album now after all these years is not easy. For one, the whole market and approach have changed dramatically. But call us old fogeys because we are deliberately avoiding the approach of almost all artists and record companies, and that is to go with the sound that’s popular and marketable now. In other words, make a piece of work that is out and out commercial, and try to sound like other people.
We are talkng a simpler but more authentic approach. We will be honest and just write what we feel like! No obvious, commercial formulas. The most important thing a songwriter must write is not what people are listening to but what his heart wants to say. Authenticity will out. And after so many albums in our long career, and a long hiatus from the recording studio, I would not mind doing an album like this as we approach our fourth decade. When I think about it, most of the songs we made that broke ground and became popular were spontaneously written and not at all tinged with any self-conciousness. They were songs that reflected where we were at the time we wrote them. That to me is still the best approach.
On my own, I recorded an album in the early 90s of stuff I wrote which I considered personal and not necessarily commercial. I went to the studio with songs I made about my mom, my family, mid-life, zen, a song for a daughter who turned 18, etc.. One might say I did the album solely for myself with little or no thought of the ‘market’ in mind. I was at a point then when I was tired of having to always please people before pleasing myself, what with a noontime show, a very public life and all that. It was a very liberating experience for me and the album still gives me joy when I listen to it. It was called AKO LANG, and it’s not in the market anymore.
Recently, I got some inquiries about it. I called the record company that released it and I am buying the few copies left since they won’t be bringing it to the stores to sell anyway. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this collector’s stuff, let me know.
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Before I left Sydney, I had a fun pictorial with my friend John Fick and his wife Pam. I was the model, Pam was the make-up artist and John was the photographer. Really had a lot of fun. John took some really good ones which I will not post just yet except for the last shot which was my impression of Jack Nicholson. Since my forehead continues to get wider, I may as well look for someone famous to emulate who is suffers from the same condition.