Friday, April 28, 2006

The one with the Betty and Veronica campaign of Kamiseta

I'll replace this with a photo of the actual billboard. Give me time, folks.

Kamiseta, a popular Philippine boutique, seems to have lined up another ace up its fashionable sleeve. A huge Kamiseta billboard on EDSA (near Guadalupe, alongside the Pasig River) features Betty and Veronica of the hugely popular Archie Comics with the tagline "Are you a Betty or a Veronica?" Coming May 6, 2006 (?).

Kamiseta has shown that it has a knack for coming up with ad campaigns unlike the other Philippine clothing brands don't. Kamiseta were the first boutique in recent to go with an international model when Kamiseta launched with Alicia Silverstone (Penshoppe followed a few weeks later with Mandy Moore). A few years later, they replaced Silverstone with the beautifully gorgeous Natalie Portman! Now, taking a cue perhaps from Giordano's Disney line, Kamiseta appears to have inked some kind of deal with Archie Comics to brand a Betty and Veronica line. How unique!

Archie Comics' Betty and Veronica have always had a fashion page in their comics, and it appeals obviously to the upper and middle-class markets. If you're talking about "It's fun being a girl," Kamiseta can't go wrong with Betty and Veronica, two timeless emblems of girly-girl fashion.

Cathy says she was not particularly inclined to buy Kamiseta clothes, and this Betty and Veronica campaign doesn't change her mind (because the clothes are just too young for her), but she agrees with me that it's a brilliant idea that will at least generate a new round of buzz. Good luck, Kamiseta!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The one with Rascal Flatts and Bellefire

Being in a country frame of mind (no connection at all to Kellie Pickler's getting kicked off American Idol on April 26), I recently purchased Me and My Gang by Rascal Flatts, the #1 album in the United States right now and perpetrators of some of the sappiest country-pop tracks out on the airwaves today (i.e., music Ganns is guaranteed to love).

It's a pretty good album, even by country standards, although the carrier single, What Hurts the Most struck me as sounding strangely familiar. I did some research on the Internet and found that Mark Wills did What Hurts the Most before Rascal Flatts, but I'd never heard of Mark Wills, so it couldn't have been him.

Then it hit me: Bellefire! I remember the syrupy harmonies and the earnest delivery, and Spin the Wheel, for all its manufactured pop tendencies, was a pretty fluffy album (i.e., music Ganns is guaranteed to love).

Did Jeffrey Steele of Rascal Flatts really write What Hurts the Most? No matter – it's a durn good song.

Along with Rascal Flatts, I got myself Alan Jackson's Christian album Precious Memories and Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits Vol. 2: Reflecting. Couple that with a purchase of Shania Twain's Greatest Hits last week, I'm a little bit country and a lotta bit Contemporary Christian Music. Yessir, I've got mahself the twang and ever'thang. I like country music, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

The one with lyrics of Happy by Ayiesha Woods

Looking for lyrics to Happy by Ayiesha Woods? Look no further. :)
[Click on the Happy link to listen to the song on the Ayiesha Woods MySpace page.]

No record deal
No dream fulfilled
No three minute video
No catchy jingle
No big hit single playing on the radio

You make me happy (No)
You make me feel the way You do
You make me happy (Oh)
I wanna make You happy too
You make me happy (2x)

No flashy cars, no movie stars
No man, woman, boy, or girl
No fancy things, no diamond ring
Nothing in the whole wide world

Can make me happy (No)
Can make me feel the way You do
You make me happy (Oh)
I wanna make You happy too
You make me happy
You make me feel the way I do
You make me happy (Oh)
I wish the whole world knew You too

Singing la la la la la la
Singing la la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

No I cannot count the ways you have made my life so blessed
All I know is that you came and made beauty of my mess
Said I cannot count the ways that you have made my life so blessed
All I know is that You came and made beauty of my mess

And You make me happy
You make me feel the way I do
You make me happy (Oh)
I wanna make You happy too

You make me happy
You make me feel the way I do
You make me happy (Oh)
I wanna make You happy too

There you go, lyrics to Happy by Ayisha Woods. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

American Idol Recap: Love Songs

SPOILER at the end of this entry.

Today on American Idol, the American Idol finalists tackled Love Songs with Andrea Bocelli as celebrity guest. Here is my take on this particular week:

Katharine McPhee. I Have Nothing.
I Have Nothing
is one of those songs that should be retired from the American Idol songbook. With Vonzell Solomon, Jennifer Hudson, and Trenyce already creating their definitive versions of Houston's overused Bodyguard chestnut, Katharine McPhee was setting herself up for a fall, and it was very beauty pageant-ish. Singing by numbers simply cannot save McPhee, and she falls short of breath too many times in her performance to make it a complete winner. Save for a relatively energetic ending, there's no way McPhee could match the style and emotion of all Afro-American Idols who have performed this before her. On the bright side, her gown was spectacular - if for that alone, I could watch it, on mute.
Song Choice: D
Vocal: C+
Overall Performance: C

Elliot Yamin. Song For You.
Magical, simply magical. Once again, Elliot Yamin shows himself to be probably the most flawless male singer in the history of American Idol. This time, he takes on A Song For You, made popular most recently by the incarnation of Christina Aguilera on Herbie Hancock's latest album, and he makes this song his own. Without sounding lounge-y, Yamin sings the butt off this song with style and class, and teaches Taylor Hicks a thing or two about soul, sans the twitching. This gives Yamin the top two performances of the season, the other being his flawless Moody's Mood for Love.
Song Choice: A
Vocal: A
Overall Performance: A

Kellie Pickler. Unchained Melody.
The British love Unchained Melody, and I'm not surprised Simon took to her version with as much enthusiasm as Melanie Brown at a concert honoring Geri Halliwell (the reason for the motivation, of course, remains a mystery). Uninspired, languid, and pitchy throughout the entire performance, especially with that goshawful high note two-thirds through the song, Kellie turns in yet another horrific performance. LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood have nothing to worry about.
Song Choice: C
Vocal: F
Overall Performance: D

Paris Bennett. The Way We Were.
Paris Bennett's song choices since she made the Top 12 have been rather stellar, showing off her versatility and range, as well as her fearlessness in song choices. With her selection of the Streisand signature tune, The Way We Were, Paris takes another chance and pleases, but barely. America's voting pattern has shown Paris is safer with the more contemporary songs, and she has found herself bottom-three'd with the songs of earlier generations, and I fear for her safety, despite her earnest, vocally superior, controlled performance. Shame.
Song Choice: C+
Vocal: A
Overall Performance: B

Taylor Hicks. Just Once.
I love James Ingram, and Just Once is one of the most amazing tracks in the history of love songs for its heartfelt lyric and memorable melody. Taylor Hicks, unfortunately, did not pull this track off with his usual flair. Pitchy throughout the song, Taylor was uninspired and ordinary. It was a very karaoke performance, and not the best karaoke performance. A dull performance from an otherwise reliable finalist, but still cuts above most of the other competition.
Song Choice: B
Vocal: C+
Overall Performance: B-

Chris Daughtry. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman.
I still don't understand the mystique of Chris Daughtry, and I'm still not on his bandwagon, despite a rather stellar performance of What a Wonderful World last week that landed Daughtry his first bottom three appearance. Tsk. With the Bryan Adams smushfest Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman, Daughtry straddles the fine line between rock and pop, and delivers a performance that rises only barely above the ordinary. If I were to hear this version on the radio, I wouldn't think Daughtry, and that doesn't bode well for Daughtry's long-term future.
Song Choice: C
Vocal: B
Overall Performance: C+

Ganns' Rankings: Elliot, Paris, Taylor, Chris, Katharine, Kellie, with Kellie getting the boot
Ganns' Prediction: Elliot, Katharine, Paris, with Paris getting the boot

SPOILER UPDATE: Kellie Pickler eliminated! Kellie Pickler is voted off! Who was voted off American Idol? Kellie Pickler! I'm sorry, but... WOOHOO!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The one with the Superblessed American Idol Contest Week 1

With only five weeks to go before the 2006 American Idol is crowned, the tension is starting to build and the pressure starting to mount. Who will win the 2006 American Idol competition: American Idol Taylor Hicks, American Idol Paris Bennett, American Idol Chris Daughtry, American Idol Elliot Yamin, American Idol Katherine McPhee, or American Idol Kellie Pickler?

Here's a little way for us to make things even more interesting. I have a little competition for you: every week, we will give away an American Idol-themed prize to a lucky Superblessed visitor. This week, the prize is a copy of Clay Aiken's debut CD, "Measure of a Man," as well as a a copy of LIVEtheLIFE Magazine (signed with a "Thank you" note by me, bwahaha).

What do you have to do? Simply identify who you think will be voted out in the Comments box. Enter your name, your email address, your mobile number, and the name of the American Idol finalist you think will be voted out.

This contest is valid until 11AM of April 27, 2006. At 12NN, we will separate the names of the entrants who correctly identified the Idol finalist voted off, then we will conduct an electronic ballot to determine who wins the Clay Aiken CD and the LIVEtheLIFE Magazine.

Only residents of the Philippines may enter. Metro Manila residents must be willing to meet up in Makati City to claim their prize; provincial residents must be willing to shoulder the shipping costs of the CD and magazine. One entry per person, please. Good luck!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The one where Chat Silayan passes away

Actress and beauty queen Chat Silayan-Bailon has passed away.

Actress and beauty queen Chat Silayan died last night, succumbing to ovarian colon cancer at the Saint Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City. Silayan was 46.

Chat Silayan is most remembered for her 3rd runner-up finish at the 1980 Miss Universe competition. Silayan lost to Miss USA Shawn Weatherly (who eventually, like Silayan, found a career on the silver and small screens). Silayan, daughter of late silver-screen legend Vic Silayan, now lies in state at the Sanctuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City.

Thank you for the memories, Chat. God keep and bless you in His arms.

View Chat Silayan's entry into the Top 10.

View Silayan's entry into the Top 5.

View Chat Silayan's final finish.

Caption Game #3

Give Ganns and Nathan's picture a caption!

Thanks to Toni for the caption game idea.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The one with the lyrics of Dahilan by Barbie Almalbis

Looking for lyrics to Dahilan by Barbie Almalbis? Look no further. :)

Alam ko na 'ng pangalan mo
pati address at telepono
sa daming kwentong umiikot
alam ko na rin ang mga ayaw mo

ngunit lahat ng ito ay walang kahulugan
kung di rin lang ikaw ang matagpuan
ang pag-ibig ko ay walang saysay
kung di rin lang ikaw ang dahilan

naaalala ko ang dati
magkasama hanggang hating gabi
di bale na kung ano'ng sabihin nila
habang buhay magkatabi

ngunit lahat ng ito ay walang kahulugan
kung di rin lang ikaw ang matagpuan
ang pag-ibig ko ay walang saysay
kung di rin lang ikaw ang dahilan

binabasa kita malapit nang makita
isinusuri ko ang mga letra

ngunit lahat ng ito ay walang kahulugan
kung di rin lang ikaw ang matagpuan
ang pag-ibig ko ay walang saysay
kung di rin lang ikaw ang dahilan

There you go! Lyrics to Barbie Almabis Dahilan. Enjoy!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Caption Game #3

Give Ganns' picture a caption!

Thanks to Toni for the caption game idea.

The one with the final Wilson Phillips #1

Fifteen years ago, last week, Wilson Phillips ruled the Billboard Hot 100 for the last time with You're in Love. The track was the third and final chart-topping single for the California trio of Carnie and Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips, setting a record for most #1 singles from a debut album for a group, a record that remains unbroken to date.

Subsequent singles from albums Wilson Phillips, Shadows and Light and California did not perform as well on the Hot 100.

The Dream is Still Alive - peaked at 12, Hot 100; 4 Adult Contemporary
You Won't See Me Cry - peaked at 20, Hot 100; 4 Adult Contemporary
Give It Up - peaked at 30, Hot 100; 12 Adult Contemporary
Go Your Own Way - peaked at 13, Adult Contemporary

I also know Daniel, off the Two Rooms tribute to Elton John and Bernie Taupin, charted on the Adult Contemporary chart but I'm not sure what number, and Flesh and Blood, off Shadows and Light, did not chart at all. In the Philippines, This Doesn't Have To Be Love was an airplay track that topped two local radio station countdowns.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The one with the Defying Gravity videos

Cathy and I have been enamored with Idina Menzel ever since we saw her performing Defying Gravity off Wicked on the Tony Awards broadcast (despite a wavering voice near the end). She won the Tony Best Actress award for that year, playing Elpheba (?), Oz's Wicked Witch of the West in the re-telling of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the two witches Elpheba and Glinda. She then delivered a pretty good turn in Rent as Maureen. Taye Diggs is a lucky man.

Here's her performance at the Tony's. Judge for yourself.

And after that, compare her performance with that of alternate, Afro-American singer Saycon Sengbloh.

And compare those with the performance of Shoshana Bean.

And compare those with the performance of Stephanie J. Block.

And finally, a version of Lea Salonga. :D

Whose version do you like best?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Caption Game #2

Give Nathan's picture a caption!

Thanks to Toni for the caption game idea.

The one where Ganns thinks Joel Mendez is fighting a losing battle

So Dr. Joel Mendez decides to fight back.

Mendez has filed a P10-million libel suit against Regina Laud, who accused his clinic staff of botching a hair removal procedure that allegedly left burn marks in her armpits and legs. He say she besmirched his reputation and caused him severe business losses when she appeared on television to talk about her alleged misfortune on Oct. 6, 2005 at the Body and Face by Mendez clinic, where we, the public, are told the following took place (as per Inq7 article):

* She had a hair removal operation
* The clinic staff who performed the operation was not Dr. Joel Mendez
* She suffered first-degree burns on her armpits and second-degree burns on her legs as a result of the "doctor's lack of training" and the "faulty machine."

Libel or no libel, Dr. Joel Mendez disregards the fact that the clinic staff who performed the operation performed it in the name of Body and Face by Mendez. It is Dr. Mendez's responsibility to ensure all staff, doctors or otherwise, are properly trained to perform the procedure; otherwise, the procedure should not be done. It's simply command responsibility: the operation took place in his clinic, performed by his staff, using his machine.

Mendez says Laud implied he was "incompetent." A doctor who is unable to perform an operation correctly is not only incompetent, but dangerous. Now what would one call an administrator who hires incompetent personnel? Would it not also be incompetent, for that administrator's inability to determine his personnel's capacity to display well the skills for which the latter was hired?

So where can Dr. Joel Mendez win his case? If he can successfully prove Laud lied. According to the Inq7 article, Dr. Mendez cites in his lawsuit Laud's appearances on ABS-CBN programs “TV Patrol” and “Homeboy,” in which she complained about:
1) the “doctor’s lack of training”
2) the “faulty machine” in his clinic;
3) the clinic having no first aid kit;
4) the staff having to buy painkillers to alleviate the pain she felt after the procedure; and
5) the offer of P700,000 to “settle” the case.

If Dr. Mendez can prove Laud is a faulty witness, he's got himself a case. Meanwhile, the good doctor also has the opportunity to use the same medium to air his side. If, in Joel Mendez's eyes, Laud is fighting dirty, he, too, can fight dirty, but what good would that do? His business is "on the verge of collapse," and Laud has lifetime scars for her ordeal. Either way, there are no winners in this little passion play.

Addendem: Cathy and I were talking about this last night, and she couldn't help but wonder about what would've happened if Mendez took the high road, apologized for the incident and helped Laud with her pain, like Johnson's and Johnson's did with Tylenol. If Laud were treated well, would she have gone on TV to badmouth Mendez, or would she have gone on TV to praise how well she was treated? Ah, the possibilities.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The one with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo doing the wrong thing (again)

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has commuted all death penalty sentences to life imprisonment as her Easter gift to the nation.

Clarification: I do not support the death penalty. What I question is the President's choice of dealing with the law, which is to supercede all previous decisions made by the courts in accordance with the law. I believe that executive decisions like this one should conducted on taken on a case-per-case basis in accordance with law, all so that the country does not get the message that the President can overturn the law according to whim. [Apr 19 '06]

The decision of GMA to "forgive" convicts on death row by commuting their death sentences to life imprisonment sends a counter-productive mixed message to the nation. Debate on the death penalty is far and between a moot point, and while this post is not meant to stir up debate, I feel that President Arroyo's decision to commute their sentences just like that *snap* may not have been the best decision to make.

We are told on a daily basis that no one is above the law, and that all changes to the law should be made in accordance with law. We therefore ask this: while it may be lawful for the President to commute the death sentences accorded these criminals, is it morally right to do so on a sweeping scale, given that our current law calls for death for certain crimes? Shouldn't she at least look at the cases and decide on a case-per-case basis? In making this decision, she holds prisoners' lives in her hands, as well as the hurt and pain of the victims and their families. In ensuring the fairness of the case to all involved, shouldn't she take the time to take a look at all the evidence per case?

This is how I feel about her decision:

Commuting the death sentence to criminals en masse is not fair to the victims of the crimes. To my knowledge, criminals who are sent to death row are found guilty of kidnapping, drug trafficking, and pre-meditated murder. Does the President have any idea of the psychological and financial struggle many families go through to see their loved ones receive justice? Do the Church and all these pro-life groups provide any kind of healing or therapy for those traumatized by the violence? Do the families of Charlene Sy and Marc Paglinawan and many other kidnap victims killed in the course of their ordeal get the closure they want? Marc, like a sizable number of other kidnap victims, was abducted and killed by kidnappers who were policemen. He was a batchmate of mine, a high school honor student who was polite, funny and obviously gifted. Charlene Sy, from what I heard, was a sweet girl who wouldn't hurt a fly. These wonderful people did nothing wrong.

Crime victims literally have to slog through the system, the muck, and mire, in their desire to see these criminals understand the kind of loss they go through. They have to spend their own money to find the criminals; if and when these criminals are found, the crime victims expect some kind of retribution (most of them demanding death). Kidnapping is premeditated crime; these people knew what they were doing. I believe in forgiveness on a personal scale, but I also believe that a society needs to teach offenders who do not respect the sanctity of life, the laws of the society, and the call to earn an honest living not off the pain and torture of others, a lesson.

The Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order says, by making this decision, the President "has not given any consideration at all to victims of terrorism, kidnapping, murder, carjacking, drug pushing, and other heinous crimes." I agree fully. It simply isn't fair by the law.

By all means, give criminals opportunities for rehabilitation! It would be heaven if our society can work together towards the rehabilitation of these criminals; I fully believe in restorative justice. However, we have is a law that supports capital punishment, and I think it important to communicate to the nation that we are willing to work with and abide by that law; if the President's views are different, I think it would be more prudent to work with Congress to change the law, not overturn it whenever she feels like it.

Commuting the death sentence to criminals en masse is an insult to the justice system. To get to Death Row, the Guilty decision on a convict has to go through three judges. It is a long and arduous process. For GMA to overturn years of waiting and deliberation in one fell swoop is an insult to our already ridiculously slow justice system. How do you suppose her decision makes all the judges feel about their decisions, having pored over the cases themselves? We need to work with the law; even if the lawmakers and law enforcers are criminals themselves, the law should still reign.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's decision to commute the penalties smacks of politics, and it stinks. In a society that is already struggling with wanton lawlessness, the decision to commute the death sentence is, ironically, a sign that, at least in this nation, justice is dead, i.e., the law does not matter.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The one with Jollibee Crispy Bangus Belly

The new Jollibee Crispy Bangus Belly is pure genius! Genius! Jollibee, you got my thumbs up for your ingenious product development. McDo's fish and rice does not even come close to this new offering.

When I first saw the ad for this product, I felt that the price was too high for such a small portion of fish. However, after seeing my friend enjoy the dish, I decided to give it a shot. The Crispy Bangus Belly is surprisingly good and the portion size adequate. The fish is crispy and the rice is plentiful. It is best with a side dip of spiced vinegar available in the condiments section. I suggest you try it before the Lenten season is over. I'm guessing this is only available during the Lenten season.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The one with the Mandisa exit

Thank you to icekid82, who posted this on MySpace. I've never seen it.

It sting that you had to leave the show so early, Mandisa. I'll buy your album once it's out.

The one with the lyrics of High by Barbie Almabis and the Speaks

Looking for lyrics to High by Barbie Almalbis featuring the Speaks? Look no further. :)

Barbie Almalbis and the Speaks
Off the album Parade

Will it ever be
I'm trying so hard to find sweet serenity
Are you still afraid
Just close your eyes and dream
The feeling fade away

Time won't flow
Everyone knows
When the pain fades away
Dreams won't die
Tears in our eyes
You've got to hold your head up high

Just take it sometime
And I'd given up the will
To change your state of mind
Just try and understand
Its not so hard to see
That I am just a man


Will it ever be
I'm trying so hard to find sweet serenity
Try to understand
It's not so hard to see
That I am just a man


Hold your head up high
Hold your head up high
Hold your head up high

There you go! Lyrics to Barbie Almabis High. Enjoy!

The one with the day after the Victory convergence

Ouch, Lord. I praise You, but ouch, ha. :D My legs are sore, and my throat is scractchy. My nose is clogged, and I think I'm coming down with a cold, but no matter, because God, ang galing galing Niyo!

I had the most spectacular time at my first Victory Christian Fellowship convergence, held yesterday from 5PM to sawa at an open field at Fort Bonifacio across PriceSmart. Can't really blog for Cathy, because she was assigned to the Nursery in shifts (she should blog about that experience - go for it, baby!).

It was the first time for me to be part of a choir since grade school, and the experience was no less thrilling. It's one thing to write music and sing for God; it's another thing altogether when you join with other voices to create harmonies and lift them up to Jesus. It's just incredible - few experiences like it, far and between.

When you're up onstage praising God, it should never be about you. From my perspective, it was such a blessing to see thousands of people jumping and dancing and worshipping... to be able to lead God's people into His presence is an awesome responsibility, and a great privilege. Even as part of the choir, to play the most infinitessimal role in helping that happen, well, it just leaves me stunned and grateful for the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Pastor Steve gave a stirring 10-point message on how the many benefits we reap - by grace, and not by works - of Jesus' blood spilled on the cross. He did it for us, He suffered and died for us, He was the price that was paid for our salvation.

We didn't deserve that sacrifice, but God's love let it happen. We are forgiven. We can become confident in approaching Him. As Point of Grace put it, "there's a bridge to cross the great divide" between God and us, and that bridge was the cross - "there's a cross to bridge the great divide."

Thank You, Father. Your love is overwhelming.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The one with the Victory Christian Fellowship convergence

The first convergence for 2006 takes place this afternoon at 5PM, as congregations from Victory Christian Fellowship's 10 different local churches in Metro Manila descend on the Fort to celebrate Jesus in the open field opposite PriceSmart.

For the first time, I'll be part of the choir, and truth be told, I'm truly, truly excited. I haven't been part of a praise and worship team since 2005, and I've grown to miss it. In the hiatus, I've written about 10 more songs, bringing the aggregate total of praise and worship songs waiting on the backburner to about 30.

I praise God for the opportunity, and pray I don't let Him down.

I hope your weekend will be as exciting as mine! :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

The one with Summer Day lyrics Barbie Almalbis

Looking for lyrics to Barbie Almalbis' Summer Day? Look no further. :)

Barbie Almalbis
Off the album Parade

Too happy to wear shades on a hit parade
Too happy to sit down in an airplane

We're riding along
Going away
Singin' a song for a summery day

Come out and feel the sun
Shine down on everyone
Come out see the colors play
If you love the summer day

Goodbye to this boredom
Stuck in my room goodbye
Melancholy and the rainy day gloom

Riding along
We're going away
Singin' a song for a summery day

Come out and feel the sun
Shine down on everyone
Come out see the colors play
If you love the summer day

There you go! Lyrics to Barbie Summer Day. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The one with the lyrics of Find Your Wings by Mark Harris

Find Your Wings by Mark Harris is the reason I'm sitting at my desk having difficulty viewing my monitor and work through the tears in my eyes. I picture Nathan growing up to become a God-fearing person who does great things for Jesus and his country, and I get all choked up. I am not a big fan of Mark Harris, but this song makes me an instant convert. The second single from his solo album, The Line Between the Two, Find Your Wings is a ballad about love of family and children - a classic, guaranteed bestseller in my book. Find Your Wings is now #3 on my chart on its 2nd week (scroll along the right side of the website to see the full chart).

Wanna hear it? Click here for the full song on Mark Harris' Myspace page.

For those of you who are looking for lyrics to Mark Harris' Find Your Wings, look no further. What an amazing song.

Mark Harris
From the INO album The Line Between the Two

It's only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I'll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I'll want to know
You're walking in the truth
And If I never told you
I want you to know
As I watch you grow

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories


It's not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer as you fly

The one where I no longer wish to watch American Idol


It's Season Three Week Five all over again. Then, you had the three black divas, Jennifer Hudson, Latoya London, and eventual winner Fantasia Barrino, with my personal favorite Hudson getting the undeserved boot. This time around, the bottom three consisted of Paris Bennett, Elliot Yamin, and Mandisa Hundley - three of the strongest performers in the season thus far, and unfortunately, the God-servant, a.k.a. Mandisa, got kicked out.

I am extremely disappointed.

When less talented singers like Kellie Pickler, Ace Young, and Bucky Covington last longer than singers who are clearly superior, well, that just takes the cake.

I don't particular feel the desire to follow this season any more. Call it bitterness, call it sour grapes, call it disappointment on a petty scale, but my bet's gone, and none of the others excite me (I'm sorry, not even Cathy's flavor du jour Elliot Yamin), so I'm going to occasionally check in. Just don't expect regular updates. I'm through with this season.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I'm thinking, maybe Mandisa wanted out. I mean, come on, her version of Any Man of Mine was appalling, completely unlike any of her previous performances. Maybe after the indifference of the people to her gospel track last week Shackles (Praise You) by Mary Mary (retitled to Wanna Praise You), she decided that mainstream America wasn't going to warm up to her message, or maybe she already got that chance with that intro of hers to the song. Christians aren't quitters, but I really felt, listening to her country vocal, her heart wasn't in it. Tsk.

Click here for an interesting perspective on Mandisa's elimination.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The one with Stephen Curtis Chapman in Manila

Steven Curtis Chapman is going to hold a concert in Manila! How excited am I? Woohoo!

Steven Curtis Chapman, a Dove Award-winning singer and songwriter, may be best known on Philippine shores for his ballad on faithfulness, I Will Be Here, a song to which sixteen million couples have probably met and fallen in love, but I actually prefer his more rollicking guitar-driven pop-rock tunes, including the absolutely fantastic Live Out Loud, the driving Declaration of Dependence, the poignant and heartfelt Speechless, and the majestic Remembering You off the OST of Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia.

Steven Curtis Chapman's concert in Manila, billed as I Will Be Here: Steven Curtis Chapman Live in Manila will be held on May 7, 2006, from 7-9PM at the Philippine International Convention Center Plenary Hall. The venue is intimate and very small, which makes for a great concert. I honestly wish I could go, but since I obviously don't have any cash to spare (boohoo!), I implore you to treat yourself to a deserved break this summer and go watch Steven Curtis Chapman Live in Manila!

Click here to visit his official Manila concert website. Steven Curtis Chapman Live in Manila is brought to us by Fish Magazine.

The one where I fear for Mandisa

DialIdol and a lot of the reviews I'm reading say Mandisa Hundley might go home this week.

Please, Lord, no!

Monday, April 03, 2006

The one with Barbie Almalbis' new album, Parade

Barbie Almalbis, one of Philippine music's premiere female singer-songwriters, has released her first solo album, Parade under 12 Stone Records. I've been a Barbie fan since her Hungry Young Poets days, and this album is a stellar representation of Barbie Almalbis' growth, as a musician, songwriter, Christian, and woman.

While Parade comes a little short of the brilliant Music from the Buffet Table, there are a lot of tracks on Parade that show exactly how brilliant Barbie Almalbis is. Parade shines with many radio-friendly nuggets and introspective tracks that it's hard not to pick out a favorite. Barbie Almalbis' current radio singles receiving airplay are irresistibly light Summer's Day, which is the theme song to some product they're currently promoting on radio, the name of which escapes me at the moment, and High, a revival of the original by Filipino-American band The Speaks, which features brilliant interplay and heartfelt vocals between Barbie and Raf, the lead singer of The Speaks.

Another highlight on Barbie's Parade is her own retake on Pag-alis, a song from the first Barbie's Cradle album. Cathy's favorite track off that album has gotten a left-of-center remake, sped up a teeny bit to add depth and texture, and reworked with new vocals and a few changes in lyric. Stunning and thought-provoking.

I love the artwork on Barbie Almalbis' Parade. Featuring work by different artists, including my favorite bohemian artist-entrepreneur-woman of the world, Corinne Ching, the liner notes and design of Parade are a joy to read and look at. Parade should be a surefire nominee in the Awit Awards' Best Album Design category; it's breathtaking.

Ultimately, Parade does exactly that: it parades Barbie. I love Barbie for how down-to-earth she is. No airs about Barbie at all; what you see is what you get. I remember back in the day when Barbie would perform at Gotham in Malate, she would invite me to join her onstage to sing Big Yellow Taxi or Galileo. Of course, her career's skyrocketing, and I'm still trying to get off the ground, but no matter. I praise God that Barbie is now so totally in love with the Dude above all Dudes, Jesus Christ, and her career is showing how He's going to use her mightily to bring people to His Father.

May Barbie's new album Parade be a tapestry of color and sound that pleases you. Be sure to pick up a copy of the new Barbie Almabis album Parade at your local record bars. Buy legit and support local Filipino music.

Looking for the lyrics to Summer Day by Barbie Almalbis? Check back tomorrow; I promise to have it up, as well as lyrics to High by Barbie Almalbis and The Speaks!