Tula Para Sa Aking Bayan

Sa aking pag-alala kay Jose Rizal:


Sa bawat araw na sinisikatan ka ng araw

Sa bawat oras na mga bulaklak mo’y humahalimuyak

Tila hindi napapansin

Tila binabaliwala

Tila ba’y hinahayaan

Tila ba’y binibigay na lamang

Ang kaluluwa ng inang bayan

Ang kaisipan, katauhan, at kalahatan

Bakit binibigay na lamang

Bakit hinahayaan na lamang

Na iilang tao ang makinabang

Bakit binibigay na lamang

Bakit hinahayaan na lamang

Na mabulag sa katotohanan

Na ang ating inang bayan

Ay patuloy na nasisidlak

Ay patuloy na inaalipin

At ikaw

At ikaw na nakakarinig ng aking tinig

Ay nabibingi

Ay nabubulag

Dahil saan?

Para saan?

Sa sarili mong kapakanan?

Sa sarili mong kakaunting kalayaan?

Ni hindi mo ba naisip

Na ang kaluluwa mo

At kaluluwa ng inang bayan ay iisa?

Na ang halimuyak mo

At ang halimuyak ng kanyang bulaklak ay iisa?

Dahil ikaw at ako


Ay nanggaling sa isang sinapupunan

Ikaw, ako


Ay iisang dugo

Ikaw, ako


Ay iisang lahi

Tayo ay Pilipino

Ito ang ating inang bayan

Nasan ang iyong pagibig?

Nasan ang iyong pagpapahalaga?

Inaalipin na pero hinahayaan mo pa

Tila hindi napapansin

Tila binabaliwala

Tila ba’y hinahayaan

Tila ba’y binibigay na lamang

Ang kaluluwa ng inang bayan ay syang iyo din

Ang kaisipan, katauhan, at kalahatan ay siyang iyo din

Sa bawat araw na sinisikatan siya ng araw

Sa bawat oras na mga bulaklak niya’y humahalimuyak

Ay bawat oras na sinisikatan ka din ng araw

At bawat oras ng iyo ding pag halimuyak

Nasaan ka Pilipino?

Andito ang iyong Pilipinas!

Nasaan ka Pilipino?

Tumingin ka!

Makinig ka!

Heto na ang iyong Pilipinas!


Life thoughts: My year in a nutshell

I just want to use this post to thank God for all the things that he has done and taught me this year also as I look forward for the coming new year. I’m gonna try to attempt to do a monthly looking back starting

-started the year with a very great project with a jazz pianist
-I had dengue that month til February
-was also mentally and spiritually preparing for the launch of our church album for February

-was still recovering from dengue
-dengue left me with Vertigo which was so dreadful for me. The 2 sundays after i got home from the hospital was very unforgettable because i passed out those 2 sundays after morning rehearsals for church.
-a big blessing would be the launch of the album which i produced. Everyone loved it and the Music during the launch was the best or church music ministry has done so far

March to April were the most painful months i have had this year. I rejected from having a scholarship that would allow me to have my graduate studies in composition in Germany. I was given full assurance that i would have it so i actually never planned for anything else when i started the year. It was indeed painful but God has other plans that i did not know during that point. I felt like my whole world shattered in front of me since almost everyone was expecting that i leave at the middle of the year (or at least that’s how i felt).

-my April will much be the same as my March until the last week.
-was hired to a piano studio to teach voice and piano.
-during the last week of that month, i received an email and a text message asking if i would like to work in de la Salle- College of st. Benilde which is a very prominent school, and in UP college of music extension program. Both of these are my dream work places aside from Febias College of Bible where i was teaching since last year.

i got all those jobs. My self esteem was boosted again.

-shuffling 4 jobs and a couple of projects at the side ain’t easy. But it certainly is a blessing.
-my friends start teasing me of getting married with my girlfriend because of all the work i have

-was surprised to receive an email inviting me to perform in Malaysia.

-probably the busiest month of my year.
-international silent film festival
-and a couple more events that needed some new works. This month i pushed myself to the limit and wrote 1 piece of new music a week.

-my birthday month
-spill over of work from August

-went to Malaysia for the sound bridge music festival
-after the last concert, went straight home for ara’s special project with my piece also to be performed. That weekend was one for the books. No sleep, but had 2 works premiered on just one weekend.
-ara graduated with honors. Super proud of her.

-started with maybe my biggest project ever. I had to do arrangements for a theatre production on December. That’s 16 songs in 3 weeks.

-i joined a jingle writing contest for the Philippine dental association, and surprisingly won the thing with a jingle i did in just 6 hours (all arrangement and recording and mixing and all)
-blessed to have a lot of work which made it a very merry Christmas for me. Hehe

Next year, great things are already lined up for me. I am excited, yet anxious of those things that i have no assurance of. But looking back this year, i think i dont have any reason to be afraid of the coming year. He has it all planned out already 🙂

Merry Christmas and a blessed and exciting new year to you!

Food blog: Ersao

Ersao has been existent for a couple of years now. I first saw this on the UP shopping center about 5 years back. Now this about a year old branch in Marikina offers a completely different experience compared to the one i know of in UP.



It definitely is a nice place to go to. Very cozy inside and the seats are comfortable.


Their menu concentrates on noodle soups and rice toppings.  They also have refreshing smoothies and milk teas.




I was really surprised by the quality of their food. We ordered 3 different noodle soups and i have to say that all of them were amazing and amazingly affordable. We had beef noodles, wanton noodles, and dumpling noodle soups. The wanton and dumplings in were amazing as i think the wrappers are freshly made on site. I’ve tested the best dumplings in Manila in Binondo and i think these would compare to that. Very soft wrappers and very mild flavored ground pork with chives inside. It was definitely a treat!

We also got a blueberry shake which is also really good. Am amazing feature of the restaurant is the condiments. They have a pretty unique tray of basil powder, curry powder and spicy dilis which is like the ordinary Chili garlic sauce but with dilis which gives it another layer of flavor. I enjoyed adding that to my noodle soup.

Would definitely eat here again. Good food and good ambience!

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Aguyoy: Manila Composers Lab 2012


The MANILA COMPOSERS LAB, with the friendly support of the ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, in cooperation with the University of the Philippines College of Music, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and Goethe-Institut presents Manila Composers Lab 2012: Aguyoy(Gentle Wind), a series of composition workshops to be participated by young composers from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines and concerts featuring composer Bernd Asmus and trio Chambre d’Ecoute from Germany.

Concert I: Tacet: Tribute to John Cage’s 100th Year
July 17 2012, Tuesday
UP College of Music Abelardo Hall Auditorium
Pre-concert talk at 5:30 pm
Open house 6:45 pm
Concert starts 7:00 pm


Nicolaus A. Huber *1939
Clash music (1988) for pair of cymbals
Demijour (1985/86) for oboe, cello and piano

Bernd Asmus *1959
KNELL (1988) for piano

Heinz Holliger *1939
Studie über Mehrklänge (1971) for oboe solo

Jonas Baes *1961
Aguyoy (2006) for any combination of seven instruments

Adriana Hölszky *1953
Nouns to Nouns II (1983) for cello solo

Robin Hoffmann *1970
Birkhahnstudie (2005) for Birkhahnlocker

György Kurtág *1926
Signs, Games and Messages for cello solo
Hommage Ă  John Cage (Faltering words)
Jelek II op. 5b
In Memoriam Ferenc Wilheim
Souvenir de Balatonboglár
Im Volkston

Mark Barden *1980
Chamber (2006/07) for three (untrained amplified voices)

Concert II
July 20, 2012, Friday
UP College of Music Mini Hall
Open house 6:45 pm
Concert starts 7:00 pm


Nadir Vassena *1970
Amras-Turm Fragment (1996/97) for oboe and cello

Dominic Quejada *1978
Sprache: Study 1 (2012) for oboe, cello and piano
Composition commissioned by the Manila Composers Lab funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

Feliz Anne Macahis *1987
Bellatrix (2012) for oboe, cello and piano
Composition commissioned by the Manila Composers Lab funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

Alexander John Villanueva *1989
ikatlong silakbo (third heartbeat) (2012) for oboe, cello and piano
Composition commissioned by the Manila Composers Lab funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

Juliane Klein *1966
Aus der Wand die Rinne 1, 3, 5 (1996-1999) for cello, oboe and piano
-simultaneous performance-

Concert III: Young Composers’ Night
July 27, 2012, Friday
UP College of Music Abelardo Hall Auditorium
Open house 6:45 pm
Concert starts 7:00 pm

This culminating concert will feature sketches for piano, cello, oboe, and other instruments done by the workshop participants throughout the workshop period.


For additional information on the concerts, you can contact Ms. Ara Janelle Foronda at +6393 271 80634 + or Mr. Alexander John L. Villanueva at +63932 449 0426.


Daluhong: a composition recital

Alexander John Villanueva’s Graduation Recital
Feb. 3, 2012, Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP College of Music

text by Ara Janelle Foronda

I. Daluhong ng Alaala
Alaalang inaalala
Inaalalang alaala

Bakit inaalala ang mga mangyayari palang?
Hindi ba’t ang pagaalala ay para lamang sa mga alaala?

Pinagtatakpan ang mga kadungisan
Ng alikabok na nakakapuwing
Di maglalaon, pinangliligo na
Ang dungis ng ibang tao
Isa ka nang higanteng kahihiyang
Naglalakad sa gitna ng daan
Tila kapita-pitagan ang sangsang
Na ikaw lang ang hindi nakakapuna

Nagpapasalamat ang mga kinuhanan
Ng pagkukunwaring kahihiyan


Nagbubunyi ang sinamsam
Tila nabuhusan ng tubig na maligamgam
Mga alaalang dapat sinusunog sa mga pahina
Ay nakakarating pa sa tainga ng iba
Mga dayaming inakalang may silbi
Itinanim sa harapan ng iyong hardin
Sa pagmamasid
Pumapalakpak ang tainga sa kumpas
Ng pulso ng karangyaan

Nagpupuri sa mga bagay na ikinakahiya
Ipinagbubunyi ang mga itinatatwa

Dahil, ano ba talaga ang madaling paniwalaan
Ang di gumagalaw o ang di nakikita?

Mas maigi nang pagbuntungan
Ng angas
Ng galit
Ng pag-yurak
Ang mga bagay na sumisimbolo
Sa mga hindi natatanaw

Nais ko lamang ipaalala
Na isa na lamang alaala
Ang nakalipas na segundo
Ng iyong pilit na pag-alala

Isa na lamang alaala
Ang kaganina’y inaalala

II. Hunyango
Sa kasukdulan na pananaimtim
Kinumpol na mga letra
Itinago sa loob ng mga palad

Inilapat sa mga matang
Pinamumugaran ng kabalintunaan

Pinapalabas na kasawian
Ang mga duming nakasiksik
Sa mga kuko
Ng pusang iyong inihahalintulad
Sa isang mapangutyang
Ganid sa isda

Isinaboy sa nanunuyong labi
Ang mga letrang pinakatatago

Biglang bumuhos ang
Dahil sa rehas
Na pumapagitna
Sa inyong dalawa
Mga kinikimkim na pag-akala
Para sa mga kaluluwang
Walang ginawa
Kundi maging tao
Iniukit ang palad

Nilukot ang bawat linya
Sa mga kinamumuhiang
Hindi naman tinataglay

Sa kasukdulan mo nakita
Ang kaguluhan at
Isa ka lamang sa marami
Na nagkukunwaring

III. Paghihikahos
Iwaglit ang bawat pagdaluhong
Hanapin ang mga kahulugan
Sa mga bituing nananahimik
Sa kanilang kinalalagyan
Kung maaari lang turuan
Ang salamin na magsinungaling
Upang ang buwan ay gawing
Kasing-laki ng mga patak ng ulan
Inaasam na pagkasyahin
Mga awiting naisasambit
Sa isang inaalikabok na parisukat
At sa kabila ng planadong
Nais nalang manatiling
Alaala ang mga katanungang
Upang mayroon pang alalahanin
Ang naghihikahos kong katauhan

The JPL blog series: The Sausage Project

There’s a new player in the street! About just a week old, The Sausage Project is catching up to the JP Laurel community as one of the most sought after food booths.

Hearing from people’s conversations, The Sausage Project is one of the popular food booths in UP during the annual Lantern Parade last December. And now, it has a regular food booth in JP Laurel.

They serve gourmet sausages in a bun for 69php and on a stick for 65php. If you’re a sausage lover, you might have eaten in Hero Sausages. And yes, The Sausage Project is the cheaper counterpart of that.

They have a selection of a number of yummy sausage. Their popular ones are Hungarian w/cheese, and beer sausage. Yes, BEER SAUSAGE! All of the sausages are jumbo in size.

Like the usual, the sausages are grilled and served in plain white bread. They leave it up to you to put the mayo, mustard and ketchup by yourself. Which I think is good. No reservations on any sauce you love.

For a cheap price, The Sausage Project is putting up much competition to the other booths around it. How I love JP Laurel’s dynamic transformation! The other streets in the area are also starting to put up a fight.


J.P. Laurel is one of the most underrated food joints in UP Diliman. It is located near the Shopping Center along the road where the post office is on one end, and where the oval field is on the other end.

The JPL blog series: Yaki!!! Takoyaki

I would like to say that I have found the best takoyaki I have ever tasted. It is located in the middle of JP Laurel in UP Diliman: Yaki! Takoyaki

It shares an adjacent stall with the popular UniversiTea.

The prices are fair. 25php for 3 pieces and 40php for 5 pieces. And I have to say, their menu looks cute.

Their operation is very small, as also with the other stalls in JP Laurel. People would usually get a freshly cooked, warm takoyaki, which is good as compared to some takoyaki booths in the malls where I usually get the once-upon-a-time-it-was-well-cooked takoyaki. They don’t cook in large quantities but  in small ones as you can see in the picture.

Their takoyakis are colorful. Very appetizing to eat. The takoyakis are filled with veggies some shrimp and some spices. And they are drizzled beautifully with oyster sauce, mayonnaise and nori bits (we think). The flavor bursts right away. And as I compare it to the other more popular takoyaki places, this one has to be at the top. It’s full of flavor, well-cooked, and generously drizzled with sauces and more. The only thing I don’t like is that they don’t have special utensils for me to eat it with. They have ice cream spoons and toothpicks. But hey, if they’re worth eating, that won’t matter.

I say again, the best takoyaki I have ever eaten!


J.P. Laurel is one of the most underrated food joints in UP Diliman. It is located near the Shopping Center along the road where the post office is on one end, and where the oval field is on the other end.