Monday, March 02, 2020

FULFILLING A PROMISE



3rd of March 2020: this is the day that I would fulfil a promise.

A friend of mine in the church approached me over seven years ago and made a request that I could not refused. He told me that he wanted me to sing in his eulogy when he passed away. I found it awkward. Regardless, I said yes. He told me that he will send the music sheets of the songs that he would like me to sing. He asked my postal address so he can send the sheets. The following day it was in the mailbox. I opened the A4 enveloped and there they were, the sheets and a written letter by him. The first sheet was an American Christian song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” and the other sheet was Sacred Hymn “Panis Angelicus”. I haven’t been familiar with those songs till that day I received the letter. And so, few of my lazy times, I pulled out those sheets that I kept from the shelves and practiced singing.

The sheets stayed in the shelves for over seven years covered with amount of dust when I received a call that my friend has passed away. “Will you be able to sing?” the lady on the other side of phone asked. I immediately say yes.

This is the day that that I would fulfil a promise.

My friend, keep the smile on your face and sing along with me together with all the angels in heaven.

Monday, February 03, 2020

THAT THE GOOD ANGELS RELAY (AUTISM SONG)

Music and Lyrics by JONSAINT

You sing when you won't talk.
You dance when you won't walk.
You draw when you won't write.
You look away from someone's sight.

You finished what you have started.
You do the same another day.
You wrap up and it doesn't matter
If takes the whole day.

You understand
What I don't understand
You look at the picture differently
No more crying
Coz I'm trying.
To go wherever you are going.

I always say
Woow I say
O how blessed I am
Coz you are my precious one
I always pray
Woow I pray
That the Good Angels relay
What I am trying to say
I love you
Come what may

Too much noise. Too much light.
Too much thinking. Too much fright.
It's okay. You'll be fine.
I'm right here by your side

Copyright©Jonathan Santos 2014

Feeling Sorry

Life is giving you a hard time. You feel like there's no escape from being in the pit. You feel like you are caught in the whirlwind. Life is unfair. You feel sorry for yourself. You tell friends how unfortunate you have been. Ranting. All they hear from you is ranting. You feel sorry for so long that you got used being at the bottom. It is alright to cry it out but for how long? Being always at the bottom may cloud your mind From seeing that there is still goodness in life.

Feeling sorry for a long time would keep you from seeing that God"s good provisions is just around the corner. You would easily miss all the good things that God has started doing in your life.

Going through grief is a healthy process. We are entitled to go through it. But being in that condition for so long may put you in the mindset that you are always a victim. It puts you in the mindset that it is hopeless and you can't do anything to turn it around. You find yourself so dependent in telling friends how hard life is constantly over and over. You have never moved on.

Get over it. There is more to life.

I got news for you. The best is yet to come.

There is still future awaiting that is better than what it is now. God is up to something good. Embrace it. God's plan is good and it will never change even when you are in darkness. He still wants to work with you to finish the race.

God has created you to be good. He has invested so much in you that he will work out ways to keep you the way he had created you as good and much more. So get up and work it out with God.
He has made you with dreams and passion. Maybe this is the time to pick up these pieces and work your way out of darkness.

The best is yet to come.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Small Chat



How are you?

How was your holiday?


How was your weekend?

How are you?

Fine thank you. And you?

Nice Weather.

Indeed.

Did you have a good weekend?

Small Chat. Small chat. Blek! Sometimes i feel that way.  Can we just stop here with the small chat? I just want to get a mug a coffee from the coffee machine and i want to get back quickly to my working space.  I got lots of things to do. Sometimes i don't feel talking and it feels awkward to pretend i am interested with what he is saying and to pretend that I know that he is interested with I am saying.

It takes few seconds or minutes to bump with someone and to start a small chat. Is it part of of the norm, culture? Or maybe a lot people get it why they are doing it. Maybe if i would know how I can use small chat to my benefit, it would not be so dreadful about the whole drill.

And then I realize small chat is a worthwhile drill. Lol.

Good first impression.


Small chat can be a good ground to make a good impression.  I could use the whole moment to put my best foot forward when meeting someone influential at the corridor. Smile and be polite even to stranger whom you would get to know to be someone potential to help you in times of need. Good impression is not bad to pull out of your pocket and fire on to whomever you are having a small chat with. It will be good tool to boost your career.

Build relationship


It can lead to discover something interesting about a person that can blossom to a long lasting relationship. You and the person might have something in common: you went to the same university; you have been watching the same Netflix series; you may be distant cousins for all you know.

Respect


No matter how I put it, small chat is a gesture of respect to the person and how they respect you. Stopping over to spend few seconds in the corridor is a sign that you acknowledge him as a human being and vice versa. That alone has improved my perspective of small chatting.

How to small chat


Initiating the small chat with talking about the weather may be cliche but it works sometimes.
Complimenting is another area you can work with but there may be a different connotation when throwing it to the opposite gender. If you compliment, test the water first. It would be worthwhile to get  to know their personalities a bit more and what level of relationship you have with them. The context of compliments you fire on to  someone you already have bonded in the past may be different to someone you barely knew.

No guarantee


Overall the context of what you throw in small chat can go in many direction. It can go very well and win a friend or it can go haywire. No matter how you put your best foot forward you still can't control the mind of someone who sees your moves. Your motives maybe genuinely positive but anything goes to the interpretation.

Small chat can be a tool to win. But i don't expect anything out of it.  I am doing out of respect to the person I am chatting with. That makes me a better person and  it does not matter if they don't look at it that way.

In the song "Anyway' by Martina McBride
"You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
In a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway"

Monday, December 31, 2018

THE ULTIMATE GIVER



Have you ever heard of Monito Monita? It is a traditional game in the Philippines particularly in December approaching Christmas where a group of individuals (friends, classmates, office-mates, etc) agree to give gifts anonymously with each other. Usually, it starts with writing down in a piece of paper each others name, roll it and put in a small box. Each takes turn to pick out a piece of rolled paper in the box. The name in the paper each has picked out is its monito/monita. The simple rule is that no one has to let each other know who the giver is until the revelation day ideally on Christmas day. In the game they will give their monitas/monitas gifts everyday with an agreed price range. There will be different theme in each day of giving such as giving, something soft, something sweet, something long and hard, something green or blue, something round, something you make /cook /bake, something pink, something useful, something wet, something made of wood/fabric, something you can wear in your head, something made of glass, something with a handle, something sour, something that grows and so on. There may be a day that you miss out giving. You may give the missed out gift in the next day together with the gift meant for that day. It is not a good practice to miss out many days and then give the accumulated gifts in a day which makes your monito/monita wondering that he/she has been neglected or has been had. It is a fun game. It is a chance for bonding between the giver and the receiver especially when exchanging small notes to read attached to the gifts.


I wonder if there is such a game when one has received a gift from someone who remains anonymous. Or is there a game where the giver gives all he/she got and consider it a great joy? I haven't heard of one or with similar nature. But I have heard it as an act of kindness preached and lived by the Wise Man in the Bible. He set the poor widow as an example who gave all she had to live on which was a greater sacrifice than the gifts out of the wealth of the wealthy men combined. He looked not at the outward actions, but at the heart. The recipient has received and the giver with the true heart is transformed.


Bill and Melinda Gates established a program encouraging billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charity. And so some of the billionaires joined them in this great act. That is a huge gesture of kindness in the eyes of the many. I admire what they have done. No doubt. Would it be more virtuous if the gesture has not put into media for everybody to know? Jesus has told that when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets just like the hypocrites do in the synanoge and be honored by anyone to see. There is an essence why Jesus wants it that way. There is a spiritual transforming experience out of it. When the recipients wouldn't know whom on earth to thank for, they directly attribute the blessing to the one above. Blessing from above. Everything we have is blessing from above. And so when we give, you give a blessing that it is coming from above. The anonymous giver has just eliminate himself or herself in the equation and direct all the attribute to the ultimate giver.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

CACOPHONY

Cacophony.

What is irritating nowadays to me at least? What level of noise would I say that I would be prompt to cover my ears? We got used to too much noise and somehow we are in the loop of getting used to it. I am driving going to work, engine roaring, city traffic. I turned on my music player to listen to favorite song. I should say there are sounds I can hear but they are not irritating. I can live and they don't harm me. When in a club or a concert, I can hardly hear what people are saying when they talk to me. Does it bother me? No. I work my way in hearing it by bringing my ear closer to the speakers mouth. 


There is another noise that has nothing to do with hearing and more to do in clutters in the mind and spirit. Too much thinking. Too much distractions. Noises such as worries, fears, habits, addictions. We work our way to get by in the midst of those noises. We work our brain to get used to those noises and that's how life goes on. We compromise. We take the high maintenance . We juggle. We multitask. And somehow we get the skill and live in exercising the skill. We take pills. We got use to it and somehow we find that there is no reason to escape to something quiet or peaceful. Some of us think that there is no choice to tone down the noise because of career, bills to pay and raising a family. Noise becomes normal. Noise becomes new home. And then some of us almost forget that there is such thing as serenity that empowers. And then we wonder "Why do I feel good when I hear the sound of the waves in the beach, the touch of my barefoot in the sound, the chirping of birds in the forest or lying on my back in a lawn while looking up in the sky?" These are not new. I have been there before but I have forgotten the feeling. Places that are not lost but has lost me.

There is also what I call noise to the eyesight. My wife and I are fond of watching Clean House, a TV series that attempts to redecorate the cluttered house of hoarders or people who have very emotional attachment to many things. Home owners are in deep ends and don't know anymore how to save themselves. They find that they don't have time or resources or energy to get rid of all the rubbish in their house. Rubbish that they have been attached emotionally and haven't realized that it is not practical anymore to keep them: clothes that they don't fit any more and are still hanging in the closet for ages, rocking chair that their dead mum used to sing lullaby to them, an over-sized desk which occupies humongous space.

Distractions are obviously evident all around replacing nourishment. We attend to something trivial because it is out there and forget to listen to the qualms of the body and spirit that need rest. And then we wonder why we are having body aches, nausea or anxiety. All it takes is to listen to our body, mind and soul. Are they in pain? Listen. Listen. Listen. When will we find time to listen?

We thought that there is not enough time to listen because we are always on the go. But the only way to find out if there is sufficient time is to stop. Stop. Look. Listen. Go. Why am I heading towards a cliche? That is what the traffic lights are for. To avoid chaos. We ought to have a traffic light in us.


We should not be always on the go. Step on the breaks. Find time to get out of the world and listen within. Breath in and out. In and out. You may realize that you still have a heartbeat that pumps the blood circulating all throughout your body. That is wonderful. You should be grateful. Brain still works although sometimes running in a funny way because of what you are feeding it. Anxiety. Anger. Frustration. Noise. Noise. Noise.

Find silence. There is a power in it. Make time to silence and discover that time is still manageable. You might be surprise.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 WRAP UP



Obvious it may seem, many of us have regarded what have transpired over the previous year. We all had ups and downs. Some had more ups and some had more downs but I guess that will be subject to one's outlook.

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Opera in the Garden for me is the start of establishing my highlight of the year. Rehearsals kick started in January in preparation on the big event in March. Those were the days were I had pages of music sheets to study. I prefer that I home study in addition to what had been thought during rehearsals since it was potential that I might not catch all up. Most of the time I study before a music was thought. This Year, on the big day itself, the weather was mean that we were not given the chance to sing in the garden and so it was decided that we held them in ASB stadium. One good thing about it was that the acoustic was great.
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Adele concert. My wife won the Adele Concert tickets when More FM chose her submitted recorded voice singing an Adele song that I accompanied with my guitar. She was put up in the video online by More FM receiving her award which made her famous to whoever watch the video online. Before this happened we really were about to buy tickets even the cheapest ones but in a matter of minutes the tickets were immediately sold out in each show. Both of us love Adele and watching her perform in a concert was one of the biggest treat that we had. The surrounding stage was massive inside the stadium. And Adele has shown that her presence and talent were bigger than the stage. Claire sang along with Adele the whole time for she knows most of the songs by heart.

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Being part of the Mamma Mia as one of the stage characters and ensemble was one joyride that I treasure for the rest of my life. It was a delightful and fun experience working with some of the most talented people in Northland. We have developed friendship with one another and have regarded our closeness as a family. It was a huge success. The best show that I have ever been with in Northland.

I decided this year that I will make time for salsa dancing. I reckon that dancing is an effective way of keeping my body and soul balance. It is rejuvenating, invigorating and soul feeding. My soul is always satisfied. My whole being was lifted.

My wife and I have a couple of weddings that we sang with but the one that was most memorable was when we sang in the Te Whai Bay Wines Vineyard which is a privately owned boutique vineyard with views to the Brynderwyn Range in a valley described as Northland's Tuscany. BEAUTIFUL!!!!. It was a long and winding and nauseating ride going to the event but the travel paid off. The weather was perfect. The crowd was delightful to watch. The beautiful bride and her entourage. The handsome groom and his groomsmen. It was flooded with photographers bringing most upgraded SLR cameras and drones. We sang all the songs relatively good. There were touching moments when we sang the first songs and the bride marching shed tears listening us singing her requested songs.

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Our house caught on fire. My wife left the stove open which she forgot she opened while she joined JC and I cuddling in the masters' bedroom. The smoke alarm was the hero of that day. It was good thing that we had replaced them after many months of having a dysfunctional ones. Our content insurance covered our batch/motel accommodation expenses and damaged items while the owner's house insurance covered the repair of the kitchen. The repair took so long that we spent time hopping from one place to another for over a month. It was not that easy to get a batch/motel for a good number of days especially weekends when people booked ahead of us. That was the reason why we hopped from one place to another. The hopping was excruciating when talking about bringing our clothes and our kitchen from one place to the next. Not to mention tidying up the place before we leave. While we were homeless we were also house hunting not because we were being kicked out. Claire and I already have plans for buying a house even before the fire. House hunting was a bit challenging when we were also thinking of what batch to move in next.

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And then we found the perfect place for us. A three bedroom house with beautiful garden which was the one that attracted us. In the past Claire and I had discussed a number of times our dream house should be a beautiful fully fenced garden where JC would spend time playing. And we found the one. It was a dream come true. Claire has never never stopped until now how to beautify the place. Mitre 10 and Bunnings are the shopping places we frequently go nowadays. Carpets, Lights, Fences, Portable swimming pool, sprinkler. Christmas Tree was put up beside the television which we are planning to wall mount soon. It was first Christmas and New Year to our new house.

So many lessons learned from good and bad experiences particularly bad experiences. We gained new friends. We lost friends. There were friends who stayed close to us and made a point to catch up. There were false friends. There were people who uplifted us. There were people who pulled us down. I consider 2017 as a stepping stone to what's comes in 2018. From the good and bad moments, from the happy and sad moments, from the joy and challenging moments, I will bring them all to 2018 as a foundation to what I can do better.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Absence of Accolades

I believe anybody has something to show and be proud of. I am no exclusion in saying that I have some tricks under my sleeves worth checking. But sometimes I am not so keen on showing of. I am not alright when people misconstrue that my action is all bragging where in fact I am just happy showing what I can do. Some people find what I am capable of as a threat. And just by saying that sounds like I am full of myself. Anybody is a threat with anybody. But come to think of it I find that people who are threatened are not so quite secure in what they have. I know people who are on top of their game yet they are being demoralized by others who have something that they don't have. I'm okay with exhibiting my talent just to my pleasure. The same thing when I was doing something when I was a kid. When I was kid I did what I like doing. Sometimes, no one needed to know what I was capable of doing. I was just in my room, in my secluded place, in a small corner, sitting in a small plastic chair, with a paper on top of a wooden portable board that served as a table with no legs that was on top of my bed, and a pen or a pencil, water colors, poster colors, notebooks, sketching, drawing, comics writing, script writing, journal writing or painting. I enjoyed the mere activities in the absence of accolades. I kept the results of my work hidden in a small shoe box, folder and bags placed them under my bed. Sometimes I got to indulge myself in checking my little masterpieces lying on my bed and I thought then it is much more entertaining than watching TV or hanging outside. Sometimes I let somebody see them if they were worthy enough to call as close friends. But even some of my close friends did not care that much and so it was almost always that my works were just on my own entertainment. I was just a kid putting in hard copies of what I have been day dreaming - playing with imagination that I and my shadow had fun with and no one else is part of this game. I began wanting applause when I began to be recognized and appreciated with what I got to offer. It was a new kind of motivation to make others see the results of my small masterpieces. Frustrations got attached to the new wanting for there are times I am not that good to anyone. It is worthwhile to go back and learn from my younger me. Life was simple back then and life should be that way. Knowing too much on what the world can offer complicates things. I want to go back to what I used to enjoy. I used to enjoy me more than I enjoy acceptance of people. I am me. I know me. I like me. I love me. I love the One who created me. I celebrate me and how I was evolved regardless of the approval of others.