Life Thoughts (Exhortation Series): The Greatness of God’s Name

Phil. 2:9-11 says

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The greatness of God know no bounds. It is seen in the sky, over the seas, and in one’s changed heart. Today, let us sing of how God’s greatness pierces through the heavens and to our very soul.

Every knee will bow and every tongue will say that Jesus is Lord. He is Savior, He is Lord. He is the lion and the lamb.

As we continue to dwell on who God is, may this be a reminder, that however great the Lord is, He did not remain a watcher over our lives. He did not remain an observer, but He became involved in our every day lives that He died while we were yet sinners. He is the rock of our salvation. He is the rock upon which our lives stand.

In his name, every knee will bow! What is in His name that men and all creatures bow? Well, Jesus is the name above every name. Jesus is the name upon we are saved. Jesus is a reminder that God is with us. Jesus is the beginning and the end. The name of the Lord is a strong and mighty tower.

Life Thoughts (Exhortation Series): Tuning our Hearts

Love God. Love people. This is one of the greatest things Christ has taught his disciples when he was here on earth. He taught that love of God cannot be replaced by any action, by any means of giving, by any method of worship, and that in reality, all that we do will never compare to the glory and awe of God. But how can we say that we love God if there are things that block our view of Him?

In the Bible, the stone was in the way of the disciples. They forgot what Jesus said of Him rising from the grave again. They spent time with the Lord the whole 3 years of his ministry but failed to remember what He directly said to them. The stone blocked their view of God. And in our lives today, there can be so much things that can block our view of God. These are big stones in front of our faces that make us forget right away what the Bible says,that sometimes once reading or studying the Bible, we then occupy ourselves with the things of the world and forget what the Word says.

We need to tune out hearts. We need to break that big stone away from our line of sight, so that it is only in the Lord that we can seek salvation in this dying world. As we sing songs of worship today, may we again remind ourselves that our hearts are offered to the Lord.

The cross. The cross is a symbol of death and surrender. And imagining a cross we can picture the death of Christ, with his arms wide open but in total agony. How can we not love God more that in his pain and suffering his intention was life and love for all who believe. As we continue to sing, may we be reminded of the gospel, of the cross, and of the life that God gave.

Love God. Love people. The Bible says that we love because He first loved us. We have this model of love that has come from the unconditional, forgiving, perfect and unlimited love that God gave through Christ when he died on the cross for us. It is a perfect model.

In the Bible, the pharisess thought they got rid of Jesus Christ when the stone from his grave was rolled. It was the stone that made them blinded to what Jesus was and made them focus on themselves, their pride, their own honor, their disgust of the ways of Jesus, and how He is to take away their sense of religion.

For us today, our focus on ourselves, our search for knowledge of whatever study, even of God can be the stone that blocks our view of others need. You may have someone in your midst who is in dire need of love and care, but maybe we have failed to address this because we are too preoccupied with things for ourselves. As we continue to sing, may we be reminded of the great commission, that we are to make disciples, and in producing more followers of Christ, we are to love them as well.

Who is man that you are mindful of us? Who are we that you would die just for us to realize that it is love that centers your sacrifice? Lord we pray that we find our identity in you. May we be reminded that your sacrifice paid it all. My sin, my emotional debt, my guilt and shame. You have paid it all. Even the things that I do not know I owe. You have paid it all.

As children of God, we lift up your name, we worship you today as our God and father.

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 šŸ™‚

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

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

some of my music

For all who are reading this, I want you to know that I am a musician by heart. I am studying composition in the Philippines. I and my family have high dreams for myself. Music is my first and forever love.

Food just comes second. I search for the best restaurants and food stalls here in Manila, and I tell you what I think about it. It’s fun after all! Like any Asian country, Manila is a food Mecca–a place where food is part of tradition, rituals, and everyday life. I will blog things about that, don’t worry!

But for the mean time, I give you some of my music that I chose to love.

This is me conducting!