Strumming w/ Acoustic and Classical Guitars

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His, acoustic; mine, classical.

I have noticed that classical guitar strings easily break compared to acoustic guitar strings. The quality of both strings are different and acoustic guitars have metal strings while classical guitars have nylon strings. I had my first guitar as a college graduation gift from my brother. Starting from the day I got it until now, I think I replaced the strings for about 5 times already though I seldom play it like thrice a week to once every 2 months depending upon the availability of my schedule.

Brother bought me a classical guitar because I have been playing Mom’s guitar in our hometown in Bicol when I was in high school. But when I got here in Manila back in college, I have been messing around with brother’s guitar which he doesn’t usually approve of, by the way, because it’s always out of tune after I’m done playing. Hahaha Sorry brother dear, but thanks for lending me your guitar anyway, anyhow. 😉

But I had these broken strings to be grateful for – I learned to tune the guitar without the help of any tuning device. I always play by ear so it was easier for me to recognize if a string is slightly off-key. It was also this playing by ear that made it easier for me to replace the chords of a song if the music sheet isn’t reliable or the notes are too low and I don’t want to use the capo.

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Strike a pose before strumming.

If you are asking me why I have two guitars in my possession and you might think I am too greedy or in the habit of collecting guitars, well, my answer is no, I am neither of those. It was my hubby’s request to buy a new guitar and become my apprentice. I thought I’ll choose metal strings for him because it’s usually recommended for beginners. But if you are to ask me which one sounds better, I think that is one tough question because personally, I love both. Each of the two has its own unique sound quality depending upon the type of song you wish to play.

If, for example, you love that “stringy” and clear-sounding guitar music, choose an acoustic guitar especially if you’ll be doing a lot of plucking. But if on the one hand you prefer a more solid guitar sound which is achieved in full strumming, I suggest go for the classical guitar.

Brother chose the classical guitar for me because of its nylon strings. It’s less painful to the fingers especially if you’ll be strumming for longer periods of time but ironically, I am enjoying the metal strings of the acoustic guitar for now because it sounds more clear. 😀

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Awesome eye candies at Benjie’s Music Store. 😍

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Got these and the guitar case as freebies! God is good all the time, eh? 😀

Going back to me and hubby, let’s just say, my “me” time at home includes playing the guitar while my hubby is having his “me” time too and I think he got inspired while listening to my belting. lol Seriously though, he usually sings along while I am playing but what I hate about this is that he usually gets, you guessed that right, LSS-ed for yup, you guessed that right again (or not), let’s just say…a week.

A week?!?!?!

Yeah, yeah, I know you are squealing with laughter right now. Just imagine how irritated I am for the entire week as I listen to him singing usually one part of the song over and over again more than the national anthem during flag raising every day. 😀

But well, you know my husband, he usually does this to tease me. *sigh*

But now, it’s a good thing that he gets to play with me. Oh, but I forgot to tell you and this will be a secret between us – (whispers) he sometimes sings off-key. lol 😀

But he is a very willing student and I am a teacher by passion and by profession. 

So….

Three “buts” in a row are no good for an article thus I am ending this with my husband as a willing apprentice and I am more than glad to inspire and teach as always. 🙂

P.S.

For our duet performance, uhm, I believe it’s going to happen in about 10 years from now. *insert chuckles here* Practice makes perfect, as they say. Oh, and my favorite musical pieces? It’s none other than worship songs, of course. ❤

A Father’s Day Special: Courageous

This movie review is a Father’s Day tribute to honor the roles of the father in the family and in society. If you are wondering why I don’t have a Mother’s Day tribute here in my blog for this year, hubby and I went home to my province and celebrated it with my 69-year old Mom and 91-year old grandma – two great matriarchs in my family.

Time has it that I can’t visit my hometown again and celebrate Father’s Day this June 19 with my 76-year old Dad. I thought about honoring my Dad here instead. Since he is not updated with the technology-driven world, he’d probably joke around saying what I wrote about him over social media will already “expire”  before it reaches him. Yup, funny, my Dad is. 😉

Even funnier when you see this photo of us around year 2011. 😀

Before I proceed with the movie review, I’d like to share some snippets on who my Dad is. My brother wrote an essay about him 11 years ago which was selected as one of the articles read at the graduation rites of my brother’s class (Sanlingan 2005)  in the Philippine Military Academy. When the announcer started reading Kuya’s essay during the ceremony, there came the gushing and shedding of tears – our tears. It did bring us all to tears because my brother was right, our Dad is “The Unsung Hero” and yet loved and respected by all.

Taken inside the cockpit of the Cessna aircraft during Kuya’s Naval Aviation Group Graduation year 2010.

Our Dad is a man of few words and yet he cracks the silliest of jokes. He is seldom the disciplinarian and yet when discipline comes from him, we all remembered this need to hide as his discipline would mean leaving a mark for the rest of your life. He seldom gets angry but when he does, it is the kind of anger that you would not want to see.

I am grateful though to my Dad for this thing called “discipline.”  If it wasn’t for this, our lives might be in a total mess right now, without direction. Now that I am a believer, I have learned that discipline in a family is very important not to show who’s the boss in the household but for parents to guide their children in the right way and in the right things only because they love them and only wanted the best for them. Just like how God disciplines and rebukes us, a Father to His sons and daughters, so we could live fruitful and better lives.

My Mom is never the stage mom type and when I was in grade school, I was always invited to participate in dance numbers, presentations, oral declamations, etc. So you’ve probably guessed who was with me most of the time in those instances – my Dad. 😀

It is a #FlashbackFriday today so please allow me to backtrack a little bit further to when I was in grade school just to share some photos of moi and the extra curricular activities I have mentioned:

Sitting in with the Grade 1 class as I am still a year younger.

Preparing for an ati-atihan folk dance number when I was 6 years old. That’s me second to the right.

Before there was Walking Dead, there was zombie dance. lol Seriously, this is a Hawaiian dance number.

Before Walking Dead, there was zombie dance. lol Seriously, this is a Hawaiian dance number.

Grade 3, Star Scout Camping. There’s another star scouter wanting to have her photo taken with me before our dance number – except that she became a photo bomber. Tsk, too late. 😀

Loving my childhood because of Girl Scout Camping. This was during our hiking and swimming at Obou Falls.

Loving my childhood because of Girl Scout Camping. This was during our hiking and swimming at Obou Falls with childhood friends and classmates. That’s me in the middle wearing a white shirt.

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Playing the role of a bridesmaid.

Competed with other schools in the folk dance category during the Literary & Musical Contest.

Competed with other schools in the folk dance category during the Literary & Musical Contest.

School play during my last year in grade school and played the role Thisbe in the Greek story "Pyramus and Thisbe."

School play during my last year in grade school and played the role of Thisbe in one of the stories in Greek mythology, “Pyramus and Thisbe.”

I’d just like to give credit to my Dad for being our all-time photographer – these photos and memories wouldn’t have been made possible. Nope, I am not a Daddy’s girl and I do not consider myself as one. I never experienced being so absolutely clingy to my Dad but at some point I did feel a deeper connection with him more than my Mom when I was in high school. But when I got into college, I felt that both my parents did so well in raising us all and they never had any favoritism on any of us five siblings.

I believe one thing that I am forever grateful to God is the fact that I grew up with both my parents present through every milestone that we went through. Though we all had to leave home when we all went to college, we always look forward to the days wherein we will all come home together and both our parents are there to welcome us.

As for my Dad, I admired him for being a civil engineer by weekdays and farmer by weekends (tending farms is difficult)  just to make sure we have enough for all our expenses as a family while Mom was a grade school teacher on weekdays and stayed at home cleaning, gardening, cooking and doing take-home work on weekends. But this kind of setup didn’t mean Dad had no time for us at home. It was, on the other hand, quite the opposite. Despite juggling through a lot of responsibilities at work and at home, my Dad made sure all our needs (not just material things)  were well provided for including emotional support, bonding time, etc.

Dad, the civil engineer, fresh from oath taking during his late 20s.

Dad, the civil engineer, fresh from oath taking during his late 20s.

Dad, the farmer, and me, the farm girl. I mean, the photographer. ;-)

Dad, the farmer, and me, the farm girl. I mean, the photographer. 😉

I’d like to share at this point a little trivia on me – I was Daddy’s little maid. We all are actually but I believe it is more of a “youngest”  thing. *wink*  Yes, every time he is cutting grass in the garden with the lawn mower and he was all sweaty, here goes him calling out to his “errand girl”:

“Nen (my nickname which is short for Nene)! Please get me a glass of cold water and towelette and wipe my back dry from sweat.” 

Then after a hard day’s work at the farm, here comes Daddy calling me out to give him a back massage while he is resting. When I was little, back massages for my Dad means I am to do my “cat walk”  on his back while he’s lying face down. Well, that was before I was skinny and little. When I grew older, it became the regular back massage.

It was only when I was in college and the only child in the family still studying that my parents were able to gather enough funds for our house to have it completely constructed – the product of all their hard work, patience and persistence. But it is more than just constructing a house that they have built for they have actually built something greater in us over the years.

Reminiscing our younger moments spent with our parents, we saw and we were taught how to value hard work over riches and accumulation of possessions, quality time with loved ones than splurging and being with a lot of people on grand occasions, and being content with whatever we have. They didn’t particularly instruct us with bible verses on how to live our lives but now that I am slowly learning the bible day by day, I realized that my parents brought us up according to the Scripture – live life simply with fear in the Lord.

To end this part, I’d like to share this text message that my Dad texted me about a current challenge that I am going through. This was in the vernacular (Bicol), so I’d just translate it for you:

“As long as you trust in yourself, you trust in God and if it is meant for you, it will and it will come.”

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Of course, Mom also has something similar regarding another event which I informed her yesterday:

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Never mind the exclamation point because my Mom wasn’t angry nor excited, she just wanted to emphasize the last statement. That is how my Mom texts – stressed words in capital letters accompanied by exclamation points at the end a.k.a. generation gap. lol I’m just kidding. It’s a good thing my Mom doesn’t read this. But if she does, errrr, love you Mom! 😀

Another thing, praise God for Skype – long distance relationships now have been made easier to deal with. My Dad, through me, might sound like such a perfect man to anyone reading this. But honestly, like any Dad in this world, he is not perfect either. Well, let’s just say he’s just close to being perfect. I chose to see him that way despite his imperfections. He is our hero, anyway.

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12

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Year 2012 portrait of Mom and Dad. 🙂

Now on to the movie review. This is by far one of the best movies I have watched with the main focus on fathers. If I have to commend the Kendricks brothers for producing such great Christian films, that is for the reason that majority of the scenes portrayed all depict real-life situations. Although we can say that some were tweaked to fit the entire theme of the movie, I wouldn’t give it much of a consideration actually. Moreover, if all the scenes were to happen in real life, some may take quite some time to take place and not according to how the movie scenes have been sequenced and yet what is important is the lesson behind it according to the Christian faith.

Not all relationships and marriages are the same. It always is a case to case basis and yet watching it now made me know what to expect and what to do if time comes I’m walking on similar shoes with that of the movie characters. I highly encourage all the young men out there, fathers, and soon-to-be fathers to watch this film and I am praying they, too, will step up to the place that God has called them to be – to be Godly leaders or future leaders of their homes. My husband and I watched it together and what he blurted to me after watching was this,

“Honey, can you look up on the internet for more movies like that?” 

Ah yes, that’s an affirmation, a positive response. I was just glad that was the kind of response that the movie elicited from him. I wasn’t expecting anything at all regarding my husband’s reaction though I did my research what the movie was all about prior to watching. I just thought we’ll view it like any regular “chill time”  movie that we come across and watch during rest days.

Praise God for sending the Spirit and the guidance (preparing the hearts, minds and souls) how to take the movie in. I only recommend movies if I rated it with 5 stars (very good)  meaning it made such a life-changing impact on me i.e. how I view things, my perspective and reactions on certain things, my lifestyle, attitude and character, etc. No second thoughts, no hesitations, I am definitely recommending this.

Hubby and I watched it a couple of weeks ago and we both agreed this is such a perfect movie to watch on Father’s Day. Thus, I’ll cut this short for now and let you watch it but first, don’t forget to shower your Dad with much love and appreciation on his special day as a father. 🙂

The Ginete family at Dad’s ancestral house circa 1993 and my favorite sheepish, no-teeth smile which I never seem to outgrow. 😀

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE FATHERS and most especially to my ONE, GREAT FATHER from up above, FATHER GOD! ❤

RESOLUTION

“…I now believe that God desires for EVERY father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there providing for them, he is to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their father in heaven.

A father should love his children, and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them, and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect, and should call out his children to become responsible men and women, who live their lives for what matters in eternity.

Some men will hear this, and mock it. Or ignore it. But I tell you that as a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence He has given you. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel, only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value, but the souls of your children do.

Some men will hear this and agree with it, but have no resolve to live it out. Instead, they will live for themselves, and waste the opportunity to leave a godly legacy for the next generation.

But there are some men, who regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did NOT do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same.

And whenever possible to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives, but who desperately need help and direction. And we are inviting any man whose heart is willing and courageous, to join us in this resolution.

In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family, because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my son to follow Christ, because I will.

Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the chain of destructive patterns in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for, and bless my children to boldly pursue whatever God calls them to do? I am their father. I will.

I accept this responsibility and it is my privilege to embrace it. I want the favor of God and His blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you and to say I will. I will. I will!”

– Adam Mitchell, COURAGEOUS

Why Does It Always Have To Be The 4th?

Tin Ginete

The ODD String

The D string, I mean. 🙂

I’ve been playing Flicka, my guitar, since 2006 and all I could ever remember was the countless of times I had to replace the D string. And if I am not mistaken, it is the only string that I’ve been replacing for the past how many years.

If only I have the answers as to why it’s the D string that always gets broken. Because I believe I am not the only one seeking for answers. 😉

When I bought the new set of guitar strings yesterday, another guy approached the music store salesman and I heard him inquired if  a new stock of D string is already out. The salesman informed him that new stocks for the D string are not yet available.

There has been a shortage in supplies of the D string in all music stores here in Manila and I’ve been waiting for a restock but to no avail. What they do suggest though is that for you to be able to replace your broken D string, you have to buy the whole set of guitar strings which could be a big waste of money. I, for one, already have like 3 sets of nylon guitar strings still complete except for the D strings.

So yes, I am planning to give them away to anyone who has a broken nylon string other than the D string. This, I guess, is the story of the ODD string.

But then again, why does it always have to be the 4th string? 🙂

 

Love & Frozen: Freezing Love

LOVE

LOVE

One of the gifts I received last Christmas was wrapped with a beautifully written message. The gift came from none other than my sister of course. Well, sisters know better, don’t they? 😉

When I got the gift and read the message, the first two things that popped in my head are God’s love (that’s why He gave us His only son, Jesus Christ) and yes, love in Frozen, the movie. The movie is about sisterhood, anyway. Now, ain’t it perfect? 😀

I must admit I’d never ever get tired watching that movie over and over again. It just completely raised my expectations in Disney movies and princesses to a higher level. It certainly surpassed the true-love-kissed-by-a-prince ending for one and the villain is not the usual step mom or a step sister.

The movie is a perfect notion of fairy tale movies portraying attitudes and conflicts of today’s generation that is why it wouldn’t be a wonder at all if it will be one of the blockbuster movies of this year.

The story line isn’t dragging at all with its well-written plot and very different setting. Definitely no scenes were lifted from classic Disney stories and fairy tales making it very unique and yes, modern. No unnecessary dull scenes are present in the movie as well as it is a comedy. And yes, the songs used in some of the scenes in the movie are also well-arranged. It doesn’t sound too classical and yet appropriate to all ages though it is a cartoon movie.

If you are to ask me about the movie in general, all I can ever say is that I am all praises. Yes, it indeed deserves the loud round of applause and a standing ovation.

Oh and being the feminist me, I just love how they developed the character of a brave, confident girl in the characters of Elsa and Anna – overcoming fears, celebrating breakthroughs and dealing with conflicts.

Just the perfect movie to watch during the holidays – makes me feel all the love and the warmth and say or rather sing “the cold never bothered me anyway.”  😉

Teardrops On My Guitar – Not

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Variation of a G Chord

“Music heals the soul.”

Yes, I know all too well how overrated this phrase may seem, but it never ceases to remind us what is the part that music plays in our lives. A BIG part it is, for me.

Just like art and writing, music can never be out of the scene. I believe art, music, writing, literature, poetry are all intertwined to create beautiful masterpieces depicting this – the aesthetics.

So, here comes my baby girl. 🙂

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Flicka

She goes by the name of Flicka. I named her after the 2006 movie entitled Flicka which is about a beautiful horse and a girl and the special bond they had formed through a series of challenges that they both went through. It was a very beautiful movie, both melodramatic and inspiring.

My brother gave this guitar to me as a college graduation gift way back 2006, supposed to be. But I never was able to graduate on time. So Flicka (my guitar), became my best friend instead. She has been my best friend for 7 years now.

She does carry some ‘bruises’ all throughout those years but like me, she has lots to say about those ‘bruises’ too. That is, if she can only talk or write. But one thing’s for sure, good stories they are, for the most part. 🙂

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When Grace and Aura Captivate You: That’s Dancing

“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?”  ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I have been dancing ever since I can remember. My earliest would be when I was 6 years old. Yep, that picture of mine below was taken during a school program and we were dancing in the tune of “Da Coconut Nut” by the Smokey Mountain.

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Hawaiian-themed Dance Number (1991)

It is a Hawaiian-themed dance number. Quite a number of dance presentations followed after that and yes, I must admit, I became a member of most of the dance numbers in our school. Which would be synonymous to this – exhausting and yet fulfilling. I have performed in school plays too but it happened only once or twice. I am just not that good with acting. Sorry. 😦

As with declamations, I gave an oratorical piece in the vernacular as well as in English thrice or so. But again, not as much as compared to writing during essay contests and dancing. I just loooooove dancing!

When I was 12 years old, the Folk Dance Troupe in our school (where I was a member) was requested to participate in the Literary Musical Contest. We won in the District level (participated by the schools in Bulan, our town) as well as in the Zonal level (participated by the nearby schools in our town) and we were able to compete at the Division level (which comprised mostly of schools in our city).

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Literary Musical Contest 1996

When I was in high school, I became a member of the Folk Dance Troupe led by and under the coaching of our ever graceful and ever beautiful, Ms. Malou Lanuza and been performing since 1st year until 2nd year. It was through her where I learned that dancing is not just a mixture of steps and poses. But it is more of a skill that you slowly craft to create a beautiful masterpiece. You give a piece of who you are to your dance – an expression of who you are. It was through our dance trainings with her that I got to learn all about dedication to dancing and to be diligent in perfecting the moves. We would practice from 8am until 5pm in the afternoon everyday before  the day of the presentation. The end product? Fluidity in movements (balance and timing) and perfection of grace, poise, aura and performance.

During my Junior and Senior years, I quit dancing as I joined the CAT (Citizen’s Army Training) and became an S2 Intelligence Officer of the Corps. We had to spend two years doing community service, drills on a hot Saturday, exercises and exams. I started missing folk dancing at this point but I also look forward to the kind of training that the CAT would provide. Below is a photo of me during the Officers’ Induction Night.

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CAT 2000

Anyway, if you have noticed, it was mostly folk dances where I got to perform. I also know ballroom dancing or social dancing (tango, cha-cha, rumba and samba) but not as much as folk dancing. In the provinces, folk dancing is usually more common and more popular than social dancing.

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FIlipino Day 2012

Our costumes for the folk dance numbers would be the traditional costumes of the Filipinos: the barong (for boys) and saya (for the girls) and the Maria Clara gown/dress. You can check this link for more information regarding the history of the Maria Clara gown which is our national costume as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Clara_gown

I never got the opportunity to dance again when I entered college due to lack of time and I was busy with the school requirements. It was only after graduation that I have decided to dance again. Yes, I thought it will be a good way for working out as well since I am stuck with an office job and I badly needed the exercise. But I did not try folk dancing this time. I tried something quite new and difficult – street dancing.

Oh yes, it is indeed the complete opposite when it comes to form, beat, style and techniques. I was totally blown away but IT WAS FUN. 😀

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Street Dancing 2013

Learning something new, for me, is and will always be fun. Anyway, I got to learn just the basics only, unfortunately. I had to focus on the heaps of workload and I was extremely exhausted every after I get off from work at that time. But given the right schedule, I definitely will go for street dancing, once again.

But surprise, surprise. YES, my wish was granted. The UP Street Dance Club in my alma mater, the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City sponsored a workshop as a fundraising event. My schedule? So free and available to reserve a slot! Wohoo! I am glad I was able to hit the dance floor again after 3 years of hibernating. Whew! This time, I got to contribute for a good cause too. Indeed, the wonders of answered prayers. 🙂

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Body and Soul Grooves 5 by the UP Street Dance Club