Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Past Two Weeks

I haven't had time to post for the past 2 weeks because I attended the Kodaly Society of the Philippines' annual summer seminar/workshop on Kodaly Methodology and Conducting.  

This was my schedule for ten days:

8:00 -- 9:30: Musicianship Class Level III (under Prof. Sarolta Platthy, a wonderful Hungarian teacher and conductress who teaches at the Kodaly Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary). Solfege and dictation were such a joy to study under her... we were doing gorgeous Renaissance/ Palestrina motets!!?!? I bet if CMu solfege classes were like ours under Ma'am Sarolta, people would have a very positive attitude towards solfege.

9:45 -- 11:15: Methodology Class Level I (under Prof. Carolyn Cheng): we were guided step by step on how to teach Music to prep/first graders

11:15 -- 12:30: Choir! My favorite time of the day. :) In two weeks, we learned and performed the ff: Sir Agot Espino's arrangement of Pen Pen de Sarapen, Kodaly's PANGE LINGUA, YOUR SHINING EYES (an English madrigal), two Hungarian songs by Bela Bartok, a three-part Nocturne by Mozart: Due pupille amabille, and Palestrina's JESU REX ADMIRABILIS.

12:30 -- 1:15: Lunch Break

1:15 -- 2:15: Elective Class Level II (for the first 3 days, we had Recorder class under Sir David Guadalupe... then 2 days of Orff under his wife, Ma'am Joy Timbol-Guadalupe... the rest of the time we had Philippine Music class under Ma'am Lilymae Franco :)

2:15 -- 3:15: Conducting Class Level II and III: Under Ma'am Sarolta, we had to study and conduct a few pieces. I got three chances to conduct the "choir," and it was one of the most exhilirating/terrifying experiences I've ever known. :)

3:15 -- 4:15 (in the second week, we'd often extend til 5 pm): Materials Class Level I under Ma'am Leleng Matias for the first week, where we studied songs/games we could use for our lessons. The second week, we had Practicum Level I handled by Prof. Carolyn Cheng, which was like a workshop in teaching technique. :) We had to make lesson plans/segments, then teach them to our classmates.

Yesterday we had our Culminating Activity, where we performed the Choir pieces. Our Philippine Music class also performed a Maranao gong ensemble piece with three of us girls dancing (myself included). We also got awarded our certificates (I got my Level I certificate, yay! Two more years to go!). Pictures to follow :)

This experience has been so wonderful! I learned so many things, and made several new friends. I am so impressed by Kodaly's vision and am in awe of the Kodaly Society of the Philippines' dedication to their cause. "Music is the birthright of EVERY child," Kodaly said. Thanks to the Kodaly Society of the Philippines (and similar institutions), there is still hope for the future of Music Education in our country.

My calendar is fully booked in the coming month. I'm going to be teaching everyday. To be honest, I am a bit apprehensive because of my inexperience but I am thankful that I have the opportunity to apply what I've learned.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY DEAREST TWINNIE!! She graduated magna cum laude last week from UP. The very next day after graduation, she reported for work at the Ateneo. Galing diba?

Congratulations also to the Opera Workshop class and cast of LITTLE WOMEN!! It was a fabulous show. I take my hats off to the performers... simply learning the parts was a Herculean job!

Hopefully I can update this blog more frequently over the summer.

A few pics from my 2nd voice recital

March 23, 2007, Friday: Many thanks to Michelle Nicolasora, Sir Eudenice Palaruan, and Kim Feliz!! And of course, to my teacher, Ma'am Aileen Cura.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Help! Looking for a deserving U.P. student to be the beneficiary of a scholarship

Our NGO, Ex Libris Philippines., has raised some money from our "300" fundraising activity last March (we sold tickets on the premise that we were going to send a fellow UP student to school as well as furthering our new organization), and we're looking for a beneficiary for our scholarship project. This is good for one semester. We will issue the check personally to the scholar, whom we hope to have selected before the enrollment for the 1st sem of A.Y. '07 -- '08.


Do you know of any deserving U.P. student (preferably undergrad) of good moral and intellectual standing (no INC's or 5's, with GWA of 2.00 higher), who needs this scholarship? If you do, please send their contact information and any other pertinent info (e.g. references, mini bio's) to or , or contact us at 09209470835 or 09209470861.


Thank you so much! Please please reply if you know someone---anyone---an orgmate, collegemate, friend, or classmate. A UP student who you think is deserving, and who really needs it. :) Just a name (or several names!) and contact number/s will do---and of course, a few sentences (personal recommendation) will be a great help. Thank you so much! God bless you always.


For more information about Ex Libris Philippines, please go to .

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I love TCM and old movies...

Yesterday, Tata and I went out with Denden. Had a glorious time, bonding over a yummy lunch of pizza and tartufo al cioccolato at Cafe Mediterranean and a few shots of Baileys at Friday's. What a shame we only get to do this every sembreak!

"SHOPAHOLIC AND BABY" by Sophie Kinsella is in the country!!?!! The 5th installment in the hilarious Shopaholic series!! Unfortunately, both Powerbooks and National Bookstore were SOLD OUT of copies. GrrrrrRRRRrrrr.

What was I supposed to blog about again? Oh yes! Old movies. Right. Will get to that in a bit. First, let me tell you about my day...

I accompanied Tata to the SSS Main Building in East Ave. today. Tata filed her form RS-1 (for employees) while I filed my ES-2 form (for SELF-EMPLOYED people... *nose in the air*).

WHAT AN ADVENTURE! I'll leave the actual details to my twinnie, SHE'S the professional (hehe). I wouldn't do it justice. Let me just say... here's to the power of the TWIN EFFECT!

To make a long story short: We stood up for our rights and didn't allow ourselves to be bullied by close-minded, paper-pushing bureaucrats!! And, thanks to a little Divine Intervention (I REFUSE to believe that there wasn't any!) and a very kind SSS officer (who shall remain anonymous but shall be forever adored by the Francisco twinnies and their progeny)... Tata and I emerged an hour and a half later with our very own SSS numbers. YES! WE EXIST... LEGALLY!

I was rather pooped after that exciting experience, and rushed to the College of Music to meet up with my friend Raymond (the pianist... to differentiate him from Raymond the flutist, hehe) and vented/squealed all about my morning to him. We had lunch at KHAS, which is like the U.P. version of Cafe Mediterranean. Then we went back to CMu to watch the graduation recital of Kuya Eman, which was great! CONGRATULATIONS KUYA EMAN!  I especially loved the J. Rodrigo pieces, Fantasia para un Gentilhombre (Villano y Ricacare, Espanoleta y Fanfare de la Caballeria de Napoles, Danza de las Hachas, and Canario) with Ma'am Luci Magalit accompanying and Lisa Decenteceo page turning (I believe that the page turner is the most underrated job ever... page turners deserve recognition and respect because, without them, there can be NO performance!!).  Aside: Page turning is my minor, by the bye... or it could be  I've even developed my own special technique! I call it the "Highly Angled Wrist School," anyone want to study under me? hehe

Had to leave for home after that. For an hour and half upon getting home, I played the piano/sang whilst accompanying myself, rather awkwardly. And then I got in the mood to watch the "idiot box," as our dad calls the t.v.

I got engrossed in this old movie which was just starting when I switched the channel to TCM. It was FIESTA (1947) starring Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse.

Esther Williams (Maria) and Ricardo Montalban (Mario) are twins, born to a champion matador. Naturally, the dad trains Mario to be a bullfighter, like him. However, Mario has another, "less-macho" talent: MUSIC. He plays the guitar and piano, sings, dances, and composes. For his birthday present, his twin sister Maria sends one of his compositions to the director of the Conservatory of Music in Mexico. The director is so excited over Mario's talent, he stalks Mario and tries to convince him to study music. In the end, Maria had to take her brother's place in the bullring so Mario could seize his musical career.

I was so touched with the end... you see, Mario has no idea that his sister is impersonating him. In the last bullfight scene, he rushes to the stadium to discover that Maria is already in the ring. You should have seen the look in Mario's eyes when he saw his sister, courageously facing off against that big, scary bull! There was fear, even panic... but at the same time, such pride!!

Maria gets distracted when she sees Mario, and is knocked down by the bull. I THOUGHT SHE WAS DONE FOR! I was already crying into my handy tissue.

Mario leaps into the bullring and uses his coat to distract the bull and lure him away from Maria's body. A split second later and SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN GORED TO DEATH!?!?!?!?! AAaaAAAaaAAA! (forgive me... you can tell I got pretty involved in this film)

*sniff* The heroism of the two twins... their selfless love for one another... Gaaa! There is no love that is more true, more pure, more powerful, than that of twins'.

FIESTA is now one of my top favorite films. Of course, there's fantastic music and dancing, and a great script! We are talking about OLD Hollywood, after all (1947!!). *sigh* They don't make movies like that anymore.

I'm not complaining, mind you. Heck, 300's a classic! In any period. I'm just a bit sentimental about old movies. They bring to mind a bygone era of gorgeous people, who all dressed smartly and talked smartly... of actors/actresses who could swim/sing/dance/ride horses and of course, act... of witty one-liners and peerless acting that needed no special effects to make each film a hit. *cough, cough... I can't say the same for, say, George Lucas' STAR WARS Episodes 1 to 3*

They don't make movies like that anymore.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Woohoo! At long last! Summer is icumen! ---> er, summer has arrived!

Monday: Watched the last two vcd's of the first Kodaly session at MTP, ran a few chores. Met up with Richard, Christian and Nerie (a.k.a. the "Archi peeps") and Tata at Choco Kiss for a long overdue lunch/ bonding session. *haha Christian I still can't forgive you for making me laugh so hard that I threw my head back and did a "Zidane" to the waiter!! on second thought, buti nga sa kanya since the service was/IS really lousy* 

After lunch, I headed over to the Alumni Billiards table and played billiards with the master of pool himself... Keith!! Thanks so much for the lesson!

I was planning to watch Albert's recital in the evening, but then the parents texted that we had to leave UP early. "You need to pack for our overnight stay at the beach tomorrow," the message said. Tata and i were like: "Beach?!? We're going to THE BEACH?!?" Talk about an instant vacation!

Tuesday: Went to Munting Buhangin, in Batangas (beach nga talaga!!) Was tired after the trip so I joined my dad in a looong afternoon nap while the siblings frolicked around in the water.

We also stayed up late at night, playing Scrabble while reading our respective books when waiting for our turn. Hehe.

We also couldn't sleep because of the karaoke kings who sang nonstop from the time we arrived til the lifeguard made them shut up late at night... at 10 p.m.  No wonder there are all those stories about people killing one another over karaoke singing! I must admit to having homicidal thoughts cross my mind, especially when this particularly brave karaoke singer sang his heart out, with 200 % emotions but 99.9% of the time OUT OF TUNE. PARUSA!

TODAY: This morning, we rode a banca to one of the little coral islands. ADVENTURE!! The waves were ENORMOUS! It was rather dangerous, actually. At one point, the two banceros couldn't bring the banca to shore (or anywhere NEAR it) because the waves were so strong and high. The three of us Francisco kids had to swim out to sea and help push the boat nearer so the others could board it.

I have multiple cuts on my arms/legs/feet from being battered onto razor-sharp corals and rocks by the strong waves. Ouchie ouch. Playing hero isn't at all glamorous or fun.

We moved to another beach where the water was (A WHOLE LOT) calmer and went snorkeling. There weren't enough life vests so the 3 of us Francisco kids went without. Times like these, I'm glad our dad made us go through swimming training in our youth. We had pretty great National Geographic moments! I LOOOOOOOVE snorkeling!

We went back to shore, had lunch, and left for Manila after. Overnight lang talaga. Short but sweet. I can't wait to go back to the beach! Hopefully we get to do it one more time before summer ends.

Summer na!!

Some pics from the last few days of FREEDOM! Mostly from our overnight stay at Munting Buhangin
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