Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Singing with VocaBlends (Singapore)

Last October 28, 2010, a new a Capella group called VocaBlends was born under the leadership of Earl Stanley Lazo. Though I have been rehearsing with them for the past 1 month, its the day that we officially named the group.

"Voca" stands for voice and "Blends" is the literal meaning of the word itself. A blending of voices to form a beautiful music. There was a discussion before we decided with the name, since it sounds like a coffee blends which we usually found in Starbucks. However, with the objective of creating an impression of being cool and fun singing group, we thought, the name may be the proper representation to what we are trying to project.

I was invited before by other choir groups, but never did I attempt to join one, because I was too busy with my sports. I have been a very active badminton and paintball player for the past 3 years here in Singapore. Yet the passion in singing never fade away from me.

Though my usual videoke jam with friends, ended up with appreciation and encouragement for me to join singing contest, I never thought of joining a singing group. Personally, my housemates can determine my mood through the songs that I sing at home. When I am so down, I will open my laptop and sing all sad songs from youtube.

I remember there was a moment last Christmas 2007, I was so lonely of not being able to come home on Christmas, I started singing "Sana Ngayong Pasko" in the living room. One of my housemates came out of her room, crying. I did sing it well, but never did I realize that I can make someone cry with the way I sing.

So then last September, a badminton partner invited me to join a Pinoy acapella group. I was hesitant at first, for my impression on choir is really more of old classical songs that I would have a hard time to relate. Yeah, I sing from the heart..I don't like to sing songs which I do not understand. So I came to the rehearsal to observe, not really planning to join them.

Then they sang " Change the World and Now that I Have You". It was not perfect yet, but I was amazed that a simple doo, daa and doom, could create a good sound if sang together in different tune. Speaking of my inexperience in music, I was astounded by how this "Maestro Earl" could memorize each tune and allow us to sing it altogether.

It was a good timing for myself, that was the time that family pressures came like torrents. And I just realized that even my sports does not have the power to calm me down. I am sleepless and restless. I would exercise, run and play non stop for a week, in an effort to calm me down. But then, my body gets tired..but my mind does not.

This new passion has brought ways for me to relax. I realized that after all this years, singing has been my innermost flame that has never been fully utilized. I got to accept that this is a talent, and its time for me to share it with everyone else. And with this new group, I aim to sing to my very best and share joy to my "kababayans" who are here, and just like me is trying to provide good life for their families back in Philippines.

Similar to the badminton club I started, I will pursue this passion with the same objective. To entertain and provide joy to others. A smile is more than enough than the biggest trophy you could find in the world. What feeling in the world is greater than knowing that you have made someone smile and enjoy your talent.

Hopefully, by next year, we would be ready to perform for the Filipino community here in Singapore or even the local Singaporean community. God, Thank you for the music :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paintballing in Singapore again...SPS 2010

The last time I played paintball was last March 2009 during the Malaysia National Paintball League. It was my last game after deciding to completely stop from playing paintball. And just recently, some former members of PSG Warfreakz were trying to convince me to lead a team again in Singapore Paintball Series 2010. It took me a month before I decided to put up a 6 man team for the competition. The tournament was held at East Coast Park, last October 16 to 17, 2010. There were a total of 29 teams and we are fighting against 14 teams in the Novice Division.

We had one practice only, and after firing up everyone's excitement about our return in the paintball competition, I was able to convince other members to put up a second all Pinoy team whom we called as PSG Warriors. On the tournament day, we have two Filipino teams against 12 local Singaporean paintball groups.

It was a tough competition since the players in Singapore are now more mature and more experienced. It was different when we competed last 2008, the players are more hesitant and afraid. It was our team who can run and attack the opponent without fear of being peppered with paintballs. We were fast, fearless and we enjoy the pain of being hit. I think thats what make us unbeatable then that time.

For this competiton, I had difficulty in rallying my team mates for a fast offensive attack. We won the game mostly on defense position and move only when there are few opponents left. However, for almost two years of not playing, I thought it was still an exceptional performance for everyone.

The 2nd day ended with my team losing in the quarterfinals after winning 4 matches out of 6 games in the prelim games.. I bruised and wounded my right knee and elbow, in my effort to push the attack faster. But, we lack the speed of doing it, most of us are shot long before they can position ourselves.

However, it was a good feeling in bonding again with my former team mates in PSG Warfreakz. It has been quite long also that I have not played and even use my paintball gears. Anyway, the joy of playing again was priceless. And I can say Singaporean paintball teams have improved greatly in their play.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Life Stories : Backsink in Macdonalds

I had my first job as a CLOSER in McDonalds when I was 16 years old. I am about to finish my high school when I applied for the job, after my mother has told me that I wont be going to College because they cannot afford it. I was devastated, cause I have a complete belief in myself that finishing college was the only way I could have a good job. Months before I received my diploma, I was working already from night until early morning at McDonalds. As a closer, I am assigned on different areas during operation time and has to follow proper procedures in cleaning it up once we closed the store. Luckily, the store was just infront of our school. You can see it in the photo pasted on this blog. The store is located at Lim Ket Kai Mall, in Cagayan de Oro City. I still remember how our managers would drive us away in front of the store, because we are waiting for our friends to come out.

It was a tough job for a skinny 16 year old boy like me. However, even how tiring it was, I don't have any choice that time but to work, hoping that I can saved money just enough to enroll in college. During my high school graduation, I was damned proud because I was the one who paid the 5 burgers we ordered from Mcdonalds for my family. Yeah 5 burgers only, no drinks :-). I still can remember that the most difficult station is the backsink. It where you washed all the equipments during closing time, and prepare the stocks from the freezer. It was a health risk area, considering that you are sweating hard and have to come in and out of the negative temperature big room freezer. It was like going from Phillipines to North Pole every minute.

Luckily, even with my meager income I was able to sustain my 5 year college at the same time working as a Crew Chief in Mcdonalds. I did well in my job, I suppose. I work during 6pm night until 2am and went to school in the 8am in the morning until 5pm. After being recognized as Crew of The Month twice, Best in Grill, Best in Production Calling, etc etc etc. I was offered the managerial position.

After a sleepless nights, I have decided to turn it down and proceed in taking the Engineering Licensure Examination. For 5 years working there, I just cannot forget the time when my mother visited me during my first year as a Crew. She came on a bad timing, because I was assigned in the BACKSINK. She was surprised to see me dragging two sacks of rice from our warehouse across the road.

A skinny and skeletally thin 16 year old boy, sweating hard, dragging two sacks of rice was indeed a perfect scene for a telenovela in MMK. My mother just stood transfixed in her position and holding back her tears. I just smiled at her when I saw her.

And its just funny, because I just realized that during that time everyone in the crew called me Babes, because I was the youngest closer crew in the store. And after being recognized as the fastest in grill area, they called me Speedy Babe. It is a coincidence as everyone called me Speed now though I don't really know on which area I am fast here.

It was one difficult 5 years of my life, but I was still so grateful that it happened. It was one lesson that I have told every student I know. If you're just studying and only thinking of how to pass the exams, you are very lucky. You don't know how difficult it is to work and study at the same time.

To my readers: You might be surprised to see me again. I will be posting life stories this time since I am still trying to awaken my writing skills and passion. There might be grammatical errors that you may find but I will do my best to share my stories as clear as possible for you to understand.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


in the darkness...we waited.
your hand were soft as I held it deep into my arms.

amidst the blackness, your smile illuminates...
Your beauty emanates the joy, the laughter, the ecstasy and the passion into me.
Your just amazing my love....thy visage always puts my heart into fire.

As a sliver of sun's ray slowly emerge beneath the vast dark horizon into the orange hazy clouds.

You held my hand you anticipate to see the amber light beyond that lilac sky.

Like a child in awe, you smiled and tearfully whispered " Thank you for being with me, I love you so much.."

I reached out to you and held you close. "Be still my love..the sun has rise. I will be here until the sun sets and rise again. I will be here always...and forever.