Monday, October 30, 2017

Singing, At A Different Level (Part 1)

According to research, singing - the vocal production of musical tone is so ancient that it even predates the development of spoken language.

I am exploring this topic because I wanted to share, my experience - possibly leaving an internet  footprint of the journey which all started, back in my kindergarten years, me, being a member of the choir.

Singing, at a different level.

Late 1989, it has all begun. It's the so-called, PNK Choir, a children's worship service choir dedicated to singing praises of worship in children's worship service of the Church of Christ (INC) - a religion re-established in the Philippines in July 27, 1914.

Each locale congregation of the INC has their own adult choir and children's choir. I started joining the latter during one of the year-end Thanksgiving - the choir is not the ordinary choir for children where you gather only if there are performances. This one requires discipline, efforts, sacrifices, faith and love. We practice weekly because the service is every Sunday, the hymns we sing during the Children's Worship Service must be practiced first before we perform our duties. During special occasions such as the mid-year Thanksgiving and year-End Thanksgiving, our rehearsal sessions are more rigorous, at times - spending more than an hour as we learn the notes, the hymns and tones of the numbers we are going to sing, led by the organist and the choir director.

At a young age, the foremost remembrance of me being in the choir is the unexplained feeling that pours over me as i walk the aisle of the church going to the choir loft; this happens on Thanksgiving Days. During Sunday worship services (PNK), i get to experience also an overflowing of calming, yet powerful emotions, something i couldn't describe when i was younger, and later unraveled as i received the truth during the indoctrination period.

With the endless weekly practice - a habit was not only formed at an early young age, the dedication (as a virtue) unbeknownst to me at that time were instilled; there were times - that i would ask and remind my folks for them to prep me for the practices or worship - and although i wonder why they smile back then, i now realized the reasons of their reactions as i progressed in my calling as an officer  - as a choir member.

Looking back further, and trying now to put my adult self in a child's shoes, on the way it gives importance to the duty of being in the choir - i highly think that the perseverance shown by my child-self back then was not driven mainly by my liking or being interested to sing in a choir, but because, something else is driving it at a larger scale. It was a gift bestowed, from a higher, divine calling. And that gift was a force that made me embraced the duty to being in the choir.

It is like when you give a precious gift to a child - he will adore it, care for it, wants it every moment, and at times they even wanted the gift lay close to them in bed. But what's making a difference being a member of the choir, singing on a weekly basis during your childhood years imparted, is that, this precious gift is considered as a renewed present, every time it was being performed(worship days), or being prepared (hymn practice). Which then makes it loop, an endless craving to do more, perform more and look forward more to the days of rehearsals, and worship services.

Another recollection from my memory performing in the choir as a child is the flowing of tears freely from within as we sang those hymns of praises, it's quite puzzling - from an adult non-INC's perspective - as to why the children cry during their hymn singing. Yet, in contrast to my own thoughts now as an adult inside the INC - as i observe the children singing hymns specially during Thanksgiving Days, i can see my child-self  to them when i was younger. Joyously reverberating the hymns from their young voices, echoing the powerful hymns of praises they rehearsed at a young mind and heart. The reason?, it was because of the Holy Spirit's grace and companionship.

Indeed, singing at a different level - a level where compassion and  divine spiritual inspiration were infused in the performance of a holy duty.



This is the part 1 of this article - encompassing my experience as a member of the Children's Worship Choir inside the Church of Christ.

I shall write soon the journey of my being in the Juniors Choir.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

What Have I Learned in September 2017?

This month is the metamorphosis of coping with unfortunate series of events that led to more unfortunate events.

It’s also the realization, or let’s say, inculcation of appreciating hope when hope itself is against itself, sounds weird - but continue reading to find out more.

#1. Adulting is by far the post partum of dealing the consequences you’ve been through in your twenties. And when I say you’ve been through, i’m pertaining to all the unconscious decisions and carefully planned activities you have made starting at the age of twenty to twenty-nine.

#2. Expectations somehow bring the scale of excitement higher. It builds the imagination’s capacity to surge extraordinary fantasies or desires - materially or any aspect of the human brain can conceive. But the opposite has a significant impact of pain when these expectations are not met. They say, the less you expect, the less you’ll be hurt. It dawned on me, the hell with pain; the more you get those bruises, the more you come out as a stronger person, a sojourner, a warrior in this life.

#3. When things go awry and the events of unfortunate things happen tremendously one after the other, the moment to step back and contemplate really helps a lot. Watching the events replay in your mind brings you to a halt and see in detail what was the missed step or missing part of the equation. Putting these missed items into perspective will lead you to solve the rut you're in and later applying it to similar situations you may encounter in the future.

#4. Loving the rainy season is not necessarily looking forward to rain every single day of the week. Yeah, I lean in to the preference of the rainy season versus the summer; but longing for it to be the same downpour every day is too much. It makes me get tired easily to refresh my car because I don’t have a carport. Not only that, my kicks - may it be leather or the casual wears may get the dirty look because of the splash rains and mud - remember, you're not always in your car or in your office building.

#5. Having a good friend who laughs hard, smiles unreluctantly and the-hell-i-care-with what-they-say behavior makes you want to hang-out with her again, and again.

#6. Cutting-Ties. To a person who've done you so much good but provokes, manipulates and cares too much is worth burying the relationship for good. Yeah, and by all means - social media- wise and face-time / hang-out-moments-wise. It’s form of decluttering. As you grow older, you really tend to lose friends and babyloves.

I’ll post my “ What Have I Learned in October ?“ article come November this year. Until then….

~billymacdeus ®

The Philippine Archipelago At Night from a Mapmaker

Interestingly, as you look closer on the map, the total light-outs percentage is at around 90%, (my own  estimate). I am unsure on what time of the night was this based, or, was it created on an averaging basis (or other Statistical measures mixed with Geo Tools) , nevertheless, the beauty of it all boils down to one thing - The Philippines is mainly at rest during the night, lesser energy is being utilized which could mean helping our environment.

Image was shared by @CNNPhilippines courtesy of a Filipino Mapmaker - @mapmakerdavid who is currently trending at the moment.

You can take a look at this article from Esquire as they showcase David's mastery as a mapmaker, using the Philippines as one of his subjects.