Imagine you are holding a photograph. There, there you are. A 5-year-old you is being carried by her momma and papa while holding your rag dolls. That innocent, charming little girl is looking at you and said, "Where are you now?"
Life is filled with several U-turns and unexpected twists of events and during these times in which silver spoons are nowhere to be found: Our families ensure we still get and experience the best as we survive this pandemic. Here's my song, I wrote back 2 years ago entitled: "Won't Let You Cry" and take time to honor and appreciate our parents as they are the biggest front liners in our lives throughout the years.
An Ebe Dancel fan for life
It was the year 2015 when I was a freshman in college and I went with a friend for the first time to a worship night right beside our school. It was there that I heard a cover of a song that sooner changed the course of my life from that day on.
“Bawat kanan at kaliwa, kung timog man o hilaga, ang bawat daan ko ay patungo, ay pabalik sa'yo.” — Bawat Daan
Taking down mental notes until I got back to the dorm I was staying in, I searched the song up and that was the first time I discovered the name “Ebe Dancel.” I streamed his songs on loop on Spotify and found out eventually that he was also the former vocalist of the band called “Sugarfree.” I streamed and fell in love with their songs just as much.
To some tracks such as Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak, ironically, I cried but I found hope to cling on to. To other tracks such as Bawat Daan, my heart smiled as it found reason to keep going for another day. Struggling personally with a mental illness is never an easy battle but there are a few people, such as Ebe Dancel, who live as a reminder that you are always stronger and all the more braver than you believe yourself to be. Some days may still be harder than others but help is just a conversation away. It’s never a weakness to reach out but a strength. I took this source of inspiration throughout the rest of my three years in college and Tito Ebe proved to be right, that I am not defined by the challenges I face, after I graduated with honors.
“Ako ang iyong bangka, kung magalit man ang alon ng panahon, sabay tayong aahon.” — Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak
Each of his songs have become like a friend that sits beside you through any emotion you feel. To comfort you, to celebrate with you, to move on from a heartbreak with you, to give you a high-five, to cry with you, to say “it’s okay” or “it’ll be okay”for you, to help calm the noise in your head before falling asleep, and most of all to reassure you that you are in a safe space for even a few minutes.
I believe this is one of the countless reasons why Ebe Dancel has been blessed with the opportunity to play for 20 years and counting. From cassette players to digital platforms, his music has and will always be a part of the playlist of our lives. His songs have become the perfect kinds to listen to whether on a full volume of 100 on speakers and there you are screaming “Ako ang hari ng sablay! Ako ang hari ng sablay!” or lying quietly in your room with earphones on to the lines: “Sa dapithapon ng pag-ibig natin hindi kita kayang iwan.”
I might not have grown up with these songs unlike other fans but I’m definitely here to stay until the end of the road. I miss the shows. We all miss the shows. The first time I saw Ebe Dancel perform was two years ago at BGC for a Valentine’s Day concert and it was one of the two most memorable concerts in a sense that I went through lengths just to be able to watch. Two hours before it started, I went to the venue without tickets. I needed receipts worth 2,500 pesos but only had 600 pesos worth with me after a friend gave hers. I spent the time later on walking around, picking up receipts with shoe marks at the sidewalk, those left at cafe tables when the guard turned away, and went into stores just to look at the floor in case anyone dropped theirs. Ten minutes before the ticket booth closed, I ran and I made it. I found all these to be worth it at the end of the day since I had the chance to hug Tito Ebe after the show, thank him for everything with a shaky voice, take a slightly blurry photo with shaky hands, and gave him a banner I worked on the night before. He asked if he could bring it home as he gave me his guitar pick.
That day has gone down in history in my book. “Hangga't pag-ibig ay panig sa atin, kumagat man ang dilim, ‘wag mangamba dahil liwanag tayo ng isa't isa.” — Lakambini It’s one of the best feelings to be in a room with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of fans who may be different from one another but share a common love for one artist in between.
I’ve gone to more than thirty shows since 2018, even blessed with the chance to tell my story in front of the world at one, and as cliché as it sounds, this feeling still keeps me alive. Along the way, I was able to create the first community on Twitter and on Facebook later on for the fans of Ebe Dancel called the Ebengers, we are the Avengers but for Tito Ebe. Hehe. It has given me the privilege to help connect fellow fans, offer them a space to also tell their stories, and find friends in a few of them who I still talk to from time to time even during this lockdown.
The nights I used to spend at gigs alone are now nights I spend hours with these people talking about music or anything under the sun with a can of beer until the show starts. Nothing like a friendship built from a love of an artist.
“Tulog na, mahal ko,at baka bukas ngingiti ka sa wakas At sabay natin harapin ang mundo.” — Tulog Na
For two hours, we are all in this intimate venue to escape a world we are looking to take a break from, to find solace in the music, to feel the happiness of singing along to tracks you repeat everyday with the artist himself standing right in front of you, and to later on leave with a heart so full, more than enough to carry on this good memory to the next day and to the rest of our lives. We live for these memories. Memories we would kill to create again as soon as this pandemic is over.
To the Person Who Does Not Know Any 1D Song
By: CJ Reyno
Never in my wildest dream I imagined to meet someone who does not know a single One Direction song or who does not even know, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and err… Zayn Malik. How did you spend your teenagehood without listening to their songs? The disrespect to my #StyPayHorLikSon. My initial reaction, Vas Happenin’?
Since I was 12 years old, that was way back on 2012, One Direction songs have been my official life soundtrip, my go-to songs whenever I feel happy, sad, mad, excited, and etch. I can still remember how people went crazy just to attend their concert here in the Philippines. I must admit, I was one of those. LOL. The group was also dubbed as, “The Biggest Boyband in the World”. They were an era. You really left me in awe when you told me that you do not know a single One Direction song. Their songs are gold. But I was a little hopeful when a new messaged popped up on our conversation, “Hey I know one, Make You Beautiful”.
You do not know how my world collapsed after reading your message. I would like to say that I appreciate the effort, thanks, but they do not have a song entitled, Make You Beautiful, because it is, What Makes You Beautiful. I tried to explain but you said that they are just the same. (Tip: Never fight with a Directioner when it comes to this because we will not let our guards down). No! They are not the same. How can you make this big mistake? LOL. What Makes You Beautiful is One Direction’s debut song. Almost everyone knows this, “you’re insecure, don’t know what for,” ring a bell? The music video of this surpassed 1 billion views on Youtube. On my 21 years of existence, you are the very first person who told me this “I-Thought-It-Was-A-Joke-But-You-Are-Serious” statement.
As a persuasive fangirl, I thought to myself that I should make you appreciate their music, that you should know that it is What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. The group may be in hiatus but their music is and will always remain superior. You are hard-headed lad. We even when to the point where you challenged me to treat so I can make you watch their music video. Am I even surprised that I agreed to this? HAHA. I feel like an agent trying to persuade her customer to buy a property on our company. You do not know how happy I was when you sent me your video listening to What Makes You Beautiful. I felt like I successfully closed a deal with my client. Not to exaggerate but I really jumped because of happiness after watching your video. It was the first message I checked that morning. Thank you for your effort, so much appreciated. Funny how our conversation starts with your innocence on One Direction until it goes deeper and last longer. Up All Nigh conversations which turned to almost Midnight Memories. Ironic how a Directioner had developed an admiration on someone who dislikes her favorite boys? Just like One Direction’s song, Change My Mind, “Never felt like this before. Are we friends or are we more?” I guess, like Liam’s line on Love You Goodbye, “It's inevitable everything that's good comes to an end. It's impossible to know if after this we can still be friends.”
I was happy that I made you listen to One Direction. At least I made you appreciate and made you aware that there is a song called, What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. I am happy that you already found your Girl Almighty. Wish me luck on finding my Summer Love. xoxo, Your Directioner friend
#StreamOneDayPH is a project from the YouTube channel EL's Planet, and former K-pop idol Jessica Lee that lets anyone help give 100 meals to our COVID19 frontliners in Philippine General Hospital and Navotas City Hospital with no cash or donations involved! Simply stream the Lyric Video for One Day on the EL's Planet YouTube channel to help out!
An Open Letter To My Unexpected Friend (Feb, 2018)
*Trigger warning: Post mentions suicidal thoughts.
I was busy thinking 'bout how I would end my life when suddenly you came into the picture and told me how wonderful it is to live in this world. Remember when I told you a story about my favorite artist, Curtismith? We've known each other for years, but we haven't done any "date" yet. But you know what's memorable for me? Your tears. Your tears for me. I'm telling you a story about my burdens when suddenly you became teary eyed. "Wag mo i-down yung sarili mo. Atleast ikaw, kaya mo i-express in words yung nararamdaman mo." I'll never forget that, friend. And I thank you for that. You don't know how that statement of yours gave me hope and courage to never stop my passion. You made me realized that I should never doubt myself. So in return, I'll always be your mentor in terms of having a good handwriting-- just kidding. Hoping to have more "dates" with you. Let's talk about your love story and my dramas in life. We may not be friends since day 1 of our college life, you may be my unexpected friend, but I promise that you'll always have that one special place in my heart.
Made a HNNY-inspired chill track awhile back. I just remember feeling extra gvs and inspired that day so I ended up making a song called "g to the v". ???? Anyways, for context, HNNY is a Swedish DJ/Producer who makes deep house, house, ambient music and other genre-bending projects. He's actually one of the first few artists that got me into experimental electronic and other eccentric type of beats. HNNY is amazing y'all! Go check his music out on Spotify!
"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."
The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae
If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?
• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.
• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.
• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.
• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.
• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.
• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?
First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.
If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).
With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.
Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.
It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.
Cancelled vacations, parties, events, meetings and appointments might be the ingredients of someone’s anxiousness. I just recently published a blog titled ‘Ways to Lessen Anxiety During Quarantine’ I hope it could everyone to lessen their worries in these trying times. Here is the link: https://photographsbycess.wordpress.com/2020/07/05/ways-to-lessen-anxiety-during-quarantine/
After months of being on a strict lockdown, we are now finally under GCQ (General Community Quarantine)! At this time, establishments are reopening, offices are resuming, and suspension of public transportations have been lifted.
But of course, we still need to follow protocols for everyone's safety because Ms. Rona (COVID-19) is still around the country. Practicing social distancing, using alcohol everywhere you go, and wearing your face mask are always a must! Numerous studies proved that wearing face masks is compulsory as we shift to the new normal because it serves as our shield against the virus.
From that, fashion designers and online shops started selling stylish masks using high-quality fabrics (which is effective to use in filtration) with prints and attractive colors which I really do love bc I've always been a fan of dressing up. This is perfect for all the girls like me, they can just mix and match their outfits with their stylish and protective face mask!
ps. always wear your face masks!! be fashionably safe xx
19 year old pharmacy student-businesswoman from Pampanga. I, Kimberly Chaile D. Ocampo, started planning my own business back when I was 18 years old. Despite being a student, that did not stop me to work and start up something for me to earn my own money. I was also influenced by my parents who are both hands on when it comes to the marketing world. I have decided to start my own mini restaurant/fast food restaurant recently (Feb 2020) and it was named as “Hungry Hubb”. From the word itself which is “Hungry” we thought of something that would give people the biggest hint that we sell food.
Because of the sudden quarantine, every store was forced to close for our own safety that is why there was a sudden decrease on our sales. But Hungry Hubb managed to survive by focusing on online selling and social media promotion. Our best seller would be Shawarma salad which is mediterranean style. We add authentic Garlic sauce to our shawarma (Which is available in Wrap, Salad, & Rice). Every product that we sell are very affordable and delicious. Our starting price is only 50php. (Shawarma Wrap). For Shawarma Salad (70php). We also have Milktea (60php) and Rice meals such as Lechon Kawali, Chicken barbecue, and Pork Barbecue for only 120 pesos.
And of course, I wouldn’t make it up this far without the help of my family and friends who have supported be from the very start. This is an open letter and inspirational especially to students that want to earn their own money. Nothing is impossible. You just have to be determined enough to turn your plans into reality.