San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival Holds Fundraiser for Typhoon Victims in Philippines

JAZZ FOR LEYTE, a Benefit Concert for the Philippines, organized by the San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival

Because the Filipino spirit is stronger than any typhoon.

Saturday, Nov. 30, 7 – 11 p.m.

Piedmont Piano Company, 1728 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland

Suggested Donation:  $20

The show will feature vocalists Lily Alunan, Anna Maria Flechero, Gemma Bulos, and Ann Marie Santos with musical accompaniment by Boy Palacio, Rey Cristobal, Norman Landsberg, Socorro de Castro, Ben Luis, Mark Foglia, Jonathan Bautista, Claudio Baria, Eddie Ramirez, Bo Razon, and other special guests.

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE EVENING WILL BE DONATED TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.

For more information:  http://www.sfpinoyjazzfest.com

Facebook page for

Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus 4

Fun times with Andrew, Jennie and Finissey in the backyard, last year

Fun times with Andrew, Jennie and Finnesey in the backyard, last year

More fun times, but now Bella wants to get some of the action

More fun times, but now Bella wants to get in on the action

P.S.  Finnesey is one of son’s most durable friends.  They met freshman year at Sacred Heart in Atherton.  He loves to sing and once even tried out for American Idol.

Is this a good example of the week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  Focus?

Darn, why was this week’s theme so hard to think about?

Self’s style of photography is purely “point and shoot.”  Today, she is trying to work off this prompt from The Daily Post website:

Take multiple shots of the same scene or subject using different aperture settings and publishing the result.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Singing, Merrymaking and Sociability Among the Early Filipinos

Filipinos have this reputation of being the entertainers of Asia.

You know this is true.

Go into any bar in Bangkok or Tokyo.  So many times, the band will consist of Filipino musicians and singers.

Now, self is reading Alcina’s Historia de las Islas Filipinas.  She found the book in Green Library at Stanford and spent an afternoon taking notes and photocopying batches.  Alcina talks mostly about the Bisayan people (the central islands of the Philippines are known as the Visayas).  Here is what he says:

“To put it briefly, seldom will these Bisayan natives be found not singing, unless they are sick or sleeping.”  During feasts, they sing and dance “unto exhaustion.  In all their activities they call upon one another and invite one another . . . “

Comparing the Filipinos’ style of singing with that of the Europeans, Alcina noted that “ours sing according to artistic principles and are well-practiced with moving melodies, whereas the natives sing spontaneously and in such manner that their style of singing is not offensive to the ear.”  Alcina notes that the Filipinos “melodies seem to be out of pitch or tune, as far as our ears are concerned, and somewhat more harsh than gentle (more crude than refined).  We can see the same among the Chinese today, from whom, perhaps, these natives learned the mode of their songs . . . “

Alcina describes a native instrument which he calls the kuriapi.  It is similar (as far as self can guess, from Alcina’s descriptions) to a banjo, with only two strings, the back consisting of “an empty coconut shell.”  Alcina writes:  “Many are attracted to listen when somebody plays it (this takes place in the evening, since during the day it is difficult to hear) so much so that the houses become quickly crowded, both inside and outside.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree 3

Here’s the latest prompt from the WordPress Daily Post site.  This week’s Photo Challenge is “Carefree.”

The prompt begins:

Summer memories make everything seem magical to me — carefree and untroubled.

Even on the trips where everything went wrong, I look back and smile at the narrow escapes, or the long walks on a beach while I sorted out and righted the world.

Without further ado, dear blog readers:  a new post, the third self has posted (so far) on the theme “Carefree.”

Stafford Park, Some Wednesday Evening

Stafford Park, Some Wednesday Evening

The Picnic Table (Cal Shakes picnic grounds, just before the Sunday, July 14 performance of "Romeo & Juliet," which also happens to be self's birthday

The Picnic Table (Cal Shakes picnic grounds, just before the Sunday, July 14 performance of “Romeo & Juliet,” which also happens to be self’s birthday

4th of July 2013, Redwood City Parade:  It's just as much fun to observe the spectators.

4th of July 2013, Redwood City Parade: It’s just as much fun to observe the spectators.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

When self hears the word “Carefree” she always thinks of summer.

Summer means: FREE WEDNESDAY NIGHT CONCERTS IN STAFFORD PARK!

Oh how self loves these Wednesday evenings in the park!

Oh how self loves these Wednesday evenings in the park!

And:  ALMOST MAINTENANCE-FREE GERANIUMS IN BLOOM!

Geraniums in Bloom Beneath the Dining Room Windows

Geraniums in Bloom Beneath the Dining Room Windows

AND SPENDING MORE TIME –  LOTS AND LOTS OF TIME — OUTDOORS!

Sitting on the deck

Sitting on the deck

Self loves how colors always seem more vibrant in summer!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour 3

Spectators at the Stafford Park Wednesday Evening Concert

Spectators at the Stafford Park Wednesday Evening Concert

Condiments at the Optimist Club's Hot Dog and Hamburger Stand

Condiments at the Optimist Club’s Hot Dog and Hamburger Stand ($5 gets you a hot dog or hamburger, chips, and a soda)

Self took these pictures at the Wednesday evening concert in Stafford Park, two blocks from her humble abode, on July 10.

The concerts begin at 6.  They are a true summer ritual:  what is summer about if not crowds, and music, and hotdogs and hamburgers, and free entertainment, and just hanging out in the park?

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week was “The Golden Hour”:  “We just want you to go out, take some time to study light, and see what you can come up with.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is to post shots taken during “The Golden Hour” — Here’s the prompt:

In photography, the “Golden Hour” is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day . . .  go out and snap a photograph, wherever you may be, during this Golden Hour –  and pay attention to the natural light around you.

Love the theme!  Here are a few of self’s “Golden Hour” shots.

Golden Hour 1: Free concerts in Stafford Park, Redwood City, every Wednesday throughout the summer, 6 to 8 pm.

There was a crowd, as always.  We had a good vantage point, near the hot dog and hamburger stand.

There was a crowd, as always. We had a good vantage point, near the hot dog and hamburger stand.

Golden Hour 2:  A Philippine beach at sunrise

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete.  Self visited Dumaguete for the first time with Niece G and son, when they were about seven.

Golden Hour 3:  New York City, not quite dusk

New York City Skyline (2006), viewed from the rooftop terrace of the Metropolitan Museum

New York City Skyline (2006), viewed from the rooftop terrace of the Metropolitan Museum

That’s it!  But, self hastens to assure dear blog readers:  these definitely won’t be the last posts on this theme!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes 5

101, 10:30 p.m., Saturday Night, May 2013

101, 10:30 p.m., Saturday Night, May 2013

Here’s a picture that self thinks fits in with the “World Through Your Eyes” theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.

She took the picture on the drive home to Redwood City from a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at Davies Symphony Hall — proof positive, if any were needed, that self has her camera attached to her AT ALL TIMES.  Self was so inexpressibly transported by the music.

Van Ness is a quick connection to 101 South.  This –  well, self really doesn’t know which part of the 101 she was on when she snapped the photograph.  She thinks it was somewhere close to the Van Ness on-ramp — ?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Harana” at CAAMFest

The line to get in stretched all the way around the building.

Too bad The Man feigned illness at the last minute.

Berkeley is not the Berkeley that scared her so much when she was young.

Florante is so lucky:  he got to be the focus of a five-star movie.

Self discovered that one of the movie’s executive producers was an ex-Assumption yearmate:  IQ (Really!  That really IS her name!) de Vera.

“Anak” was in this movie.  Sung by schoolchildren.

Self feels she should explain:  It was the 1970s.  And Mike Hanopol and Sampaguita and Freddie Aguilar were just starting out.  She doesn’t think “Anak” was strictly harana, but one of the best scenes of the movie was that scene with the schoolchildren.

This was the first time self got a full translation of the lyrics to “Anak.”  Thank God for subtitles.

Self, you are lucky.  You are lucky because:  a) You made it to Berkeley and found parking right across the street (One of the few times you were in Berkeley, you attempted to park in this same public garage, hit a bicyclist, went on to visit the class whose professor was teaching you, and then after going home, began the story “Bad Thing.” You still remember the name of the professor:  Sau Ling Wong.  There was another writer visiting the class that day:  Fae Myenne Ng, the author of Bone.  Fae nominated you for a Pushcart that year, your first nomination.)  b) You were still in Manila and remembered exactly when you first heard “Anak” on the radio.  You didn’t know it at the time, but that was the start of the song’s long life as a Filipino classic.  Even though Freddie Aguilar never made another song worth remembering, you will always be grateful to him for “Anak.” c) You saw the Bay Bridge all decked out in lights.  With one hand on the steering wheel, another on your camera’s shutter release, you were able to fire off two (extremely blurry) shots.

Bay Bridge, at 60 mph

Bay Bridge, at 60 mph

Tomorrow she watches Lisa Yuchengco’s documentary on the late Marilou Diaz Abaya.  The woman sitting next to self at the screening for “Harana” (who was not Filipino) said she had caught the previous day’s screening.  Self asked her what she thought of it, and she said she found it very interesting because the technique was almost straight interview.  Wow, fascinating!  Self can hardly wait to see it.

At the “Harana” screening, she saw:  a) Manny Yulo; b) IQ, her aforementioned Assumption classmate; c) Rashaan (who is off to Hawthornden this June –  Aaaach, jealousy burns, jealousy burns)

The cinematography was by Peggy Peralta.  Self would have said something to Ms. Peralta, but was totally intimidated because she looked like a saucy Japanese schoolgirl, in her mod attire and hat.  Self is blanking out:  only a few seconds ago, she had a name for this hat.  Now, all she can think of is:  It’s the hat worn by Dick Tracy.  Ah!  That’s it:  the hat is called a fedora.

Wow, The Harana Kings.  The closing credits said they played at the Hollywood Bowl to an audience of 13,000.

There was someone who kept up an almost continuous sniffling (weeping?) from one of the rows just behind self.  Well, this movie certainly erases the bad taste left in her mouth by “Corazon, Ang Unang Aswang.”

P.S.  Yosef Halper, owner of Halper’s Books in Tel Aviv, told her that he knows Mike Hanopol.  Of all things, Mike Hanopol now lives in Tel Aviv!

More P.S.  Michael Dadap, classical guitarist, who self knew long ago in her New York period, was in this movie, performing with The Harana Kings in the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Five Stars.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

2nd Saturday of February (2012): Concert at Davies, Symphony Shop, Pocket Chinese Almanac 2013

Self and The Man were at Davies this evening.  It was fantastic!  A performance of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, with beauteous Canadian soprano Erin Wall, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, conducted by Charles Dutoit.  After intermission, a performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum, with guest appearance by the Pacific Boys Choir.  Self had never heard either of these pieces before.  Their effect on self was quite electric.  She kept her eyes closed as much as she could, to concentrate on the music.  Towards the end of the Te Deum, she actually felt tears at the corners of her eyes.  But, mindful that The Man was staring at her with a look of utter amazement, she steeled the tears not to fall.

Did dear blog readers know that Poulenc was noted for being the most “cheerful” of all composers?  And he was apparently well-off:  He had an apartment overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg (which self had occasion to ramble in, just this past July, dear blog readers!), and a castle in the Loire.  In the late 1930s (Poulenc was born in 1899), a good friend having been killed in a horrific automobile accident, he began to meditate on death and mortality and, in his castle in the Loire, wrote pieces like The Litanies of the Black Virgin.  His Stabat Mater is a very uplifting work.  Self particularly loved the passage (So handy that the text was in the program):

Holy mother, do this for me:
imprint the wounds of your crucified son
deeply in my heart.

During the intermission, self had to run to the powder room, and The Man said he would meet her at the Symphony Shop. Self had little tremors of premonition at the mention of “Symphony Shop.” She expressly told herself she would spend nothing at the Symphony Shop this evening. But since she was meeting The Man there, she couldn’t very well NOT shop. And she ended up spending about $40 (If you must know, the man spent $7. She tried to get him to spring for her $40, but he was quite adamant that he was “broke” and all his credit cards were maxed out. So of course self ended up feeling sorry for him. It’s a wonder she let him pay for his $7 item instead of offering to include it with hers!)

One of the things self sprang for (on a rack right next to the cash register, wouldn’t you know) was a tiny book called:

POCKET CHINESE ALMANAC 2013

Self knows it is all just superstition, but as soon as she got home, she turned to the prognostication for today, the 9th of February.  Lo and behold it is a good day for “rituals, asking for blessings . . .  meeting friends, going out, weddings, tailoring, starting a business . . .  “

Starting a business!  An anxious glance at the clock:  11:52 p.m.  A little late to be thinking of what business she can start, there’s only eight minutes of Feb. 9 to go!

Self turns to the prognostication for Feb. 10:

BAD for the maiden voyage of a boat, hairdressing, manicure/pedicure, hunting, fishing, or starting new jobs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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